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If you’ve never broken down on a motorway before, it can be a pretty scary experience. In fact, even if you have, it can still be rather intimidating. The best thing you can do, besides seeing into the future, is prepare for such an event, so that you can keep safe and take away some of the unnerving elements. To help you prepare, this post will share some of the best motorway breakdown advice. Grab a pen and some paper and get ready to take notes!
Never ignore a problem with your car, or wait to see how it develops. When you are on the motorway and your car begins to show warning signs, you should leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into the nearest service area. If you are unable to do so, pull into a hard shoulder as close as possible, with the wheels turned in away from the traffic side.
Ensure everyone, including yourself, exits the vehicle using the left-hand door(s). Animals are to be kept in the vehicle unless there is a secondary emergency – in which case they can be kept under control away from the traffic on the verge.
Switch on your hazard warning lights if you are on the hard shoulder and call for breakdown assistance using your mobile phone, once you and your passengers are in a safe position away from moving traffic. If you do not have a mobile or happen to have a dead battery, walk to the emergency telephone on the same side of the carriageway. This will connect you directly to the Highways Agency or police, and will not cost you anything. Provide your details and inform them of the situation whilst they send for help.
Face the traffic at all times, so you are aware and able to keep yourself safe. Return to your vehicle after you’ve made the phone call to wait for help.
If visibility is low or reduced for any reason, you should switch on your rear fog lights to ensure your vehicle is visible.
If there is a barrier nearby for safety, move behind it with your passengers as long as it is safe to do so. Always remember that you are the best person to make decisions about your own safety, so take hold of the responsibility and stay calm. Know that someone will be with you as soon as they can.
If you’re alone and feel threatened by anything you can return to your vehicle and lock the doors. The safest place to do this is in the front passenger seat. As soon as you feel safe again, exit the vehicle and move away from the traffic.
Don’t imagine you’ll be the only one broken down – you need to be aware of the other vehicles that may be parked along the hard shoulder. You also need to keep a keen eye on the children that are travelling with you, as their judgment of danger may be less acute than yours.