What To Do If You Break Down On The Motorway

If your car is experiencing problems on the motorway the Highway Code says to leave at the next exit or pull into a service station. But sometimes this can’t be done. If you find yourself having to pull over on the hard shoulder, make sure you pull up as far to the left as possible and position your wheels, so they are turned to the left also.

Exit The Vehicle

Once you’re pulled over on the hard shoulder and the vehicle has come to a complete standstill, everyone in the car should exit via the doors on the left-hand side to avoid the carriageway.

Put your hazard lights on, and if it is night time, put your side lights on too for better visibility. Your aim should be to make the car as visible as possible to help avoid any accidents from happening that could endanger yours and someone else’s life.

Leave Pets In the car

Having pets on the side of a busy motorway is not advised, so leave them in the car if you can. Only remove animals if it is too dangerous to leave them in the vehicle - if it is a very hot day, or you are in an emergency situation. Keep your pets under control at all times.

Call for Help

If you don’t have access to a mobile phone – or the battery is dead – then you will have to use one of the emergency phones situated every mile along the hard shoulder.

If you have broken down, you will need to walk to the nearest emergency phone. Face the oncoming traffic and follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder. The emergency telephone is free to use and connects directly to the Highways Agency or the Police.

Wait with Your Vehicle

Once you have called for assistance, wait on the bank near your vehicle. Stay well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder. If you feel as though you are at risk being outside your vehicle then get in from the left-hand side and lock all the doors.

Re-join Carriageway

If your vehicle has been started again and the fault fixed, re-join the carriageway by waiting for a sensible gap in traffic, build up speed on the hard shoulder and enter with momentum.

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