What to do if you break down on the motorway
A guide on what to do if you break down while driving on the motorway.
Breaking down is never a fun experience for any driver but it’s ten times worse if your car dies a death while you’re driving on the motorway. The speed of the cars and the narrowness of the hard shoulder means breaking down on the motorway can be both traumatic and frightening for even the most experienced driver.
While there’s nothing you can do to avoid breaking down on the motorway (apart from paying regular visits to your mechanic), there are some tips you can follow to make sure you stay as safe as possible while waiting for help to arrive.
The first thing to do if you experience car trouble on the motorway is pull onto the hard shoulder. Try to stop as close to the left hand side of the hard shoulder as possible and try to ensure your wheels are turned to the left – this should eliminate the chances of another vehicle clipping yours.
If possible, try to stop the car near to an emergency telephone – these telephones are situated at various intervals around every mile or so along the hard shoulder. It’s a good idea to stop close to one of these because they have specific reference numbers which can be extremely helpful when trying to describe where you are to your breakdown company.
When safely parked, turn your hazards and sidelights on to warn other vehicles that your car has broken down. Next contact your breakdown company, either using your mobile or the emergency telephone.
To avoid the chances of an accident you should exit the vehicle by the left hand side and wait on the far side of the motorway for help to arrive. If you have them, put on reflective jackets to make yourself extra visible to other jackets and keep a close eye on children to make sure they don’t wander too close to the traffic.
If for any reason you do not feel safe outside of your vehicle, get back in through the left hand side, lock the doors and wait for help to arrive.