A seven step guide for when your vehicle breaks down

Posted on: 13/12/2013

Recycle Motors sees its fair share of broken down cars and vehicles that are beyond repair.

And when your vehicle breaks down, it usually occurs in the worst place and at the worst time.

If your vehicle breaks down on a motorway or busy road, you should:

1. Pull on to the hard shoulder - keep as far to the left as you possibly can with your wheels turned to the left.
2. Turn your hazard lights on and leave your sidelights on (although if you need to reserve battery power, evaluate the necessity of the sidelights). Obviously, this is especially important at night, and will help warn other drivers of your presence.
3. Get out of the vehicle by the left-hand door. As driver, it's also your responsibility to make sure that all your passengers do the same.
4. Leave animals in the vehicle or, if it's an emergency, get them out the vehicle and keep them under strict control. We all love our pets, but it wouldn't just be your beloved pooch at risk if he dashed out into a busy road.
5. If you have reflective jackets in the vehicle wear them. But remember, do not use a warning triangle on the hard shoulder. The process of erecting it could put you at risk of getting hit by a passing vehicle.
6. Make sure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder, and that children are kept under control. After you have left your car, try and find a safer spot away from the traffic, for example try to retreat up a bank, or behind a barrier if possible.
7. Don't attempt even simple repairs. It's simply not worth risking injury over.

And if you can't get to the hard shoulder:

1. Remember that stopping your car on a running lane is extremely dangerous.
2. Immediately switch on your hazard warning lights.
3. Don’t attempt to place any warning device on the carriageway.
4. You should only leave your car when it is safe for you and passengers to do so.
5. Call for help.

If you don't have a mobile, walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway - never attempt to cross to the other side. This is probably the most foolhardy and dangerous thing you could do. Follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder - the phone is free and connects directly to the police/Highways Agency. Give full details to the police.

And did you know that the police can, in certain circumstances, help you move your car to a safe place, but they will charge a fee.

Finally, remember that you must never stop on the hard shoulder for non-emergencies such as checking your route or when you need to go to the toilet. Hold it in!


If your vehicle breaks down beyond repair, why not see what it's worth at Recycle Motors.

Author: ADMIN
Categories: Blog, Tips

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