Even with this in mind, however, even the most careful drivers can suffer from their car breaking down on the motorway. As vehicles get older one or several of the many crucial components inside can wind up getting damaged.
If you know or even suspect that one or several parts in your car are faulty, then you can always simply get it sent for a thorough service check as soon as possible.If your car does end up breaking down on a motorway, it is obviously a blow, but there’s no need to panic. Here’s our guide to dealing with a motorway breakdown.
Even before a breakdown occurs it’s worth keeping certain items in your vehicle. This will keep you planned ahead for if ever an unfortunate situation should happen. Keep a reflective jacket, warm waterproof clothes and a torch in your car. These items will prove particularly useful if you break down on the motorway or even any country road while it’s dark and/or cold during winter driving.
When the car suffers a breakdown on the motorway, pull into the hard shoulder as soon as possible in a safe manner and with the hazard lights switched on. Once the car is stopped on the hard shoulder, keep the hazard lights on if possible.
From this point you should call your breakdown company. For the safety of yourself (and possibly any passengers), don’t attempt any sort of repair work on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
Ideally you should call your breakdown company using a nearby emergency telephone. These phones are free to use and connect directly to the Highways Agency.
If you alternatively contact your breakdown company with your mobile phone, you may be asked to give the number on the nearest marker post. These are located every 100 meters or on a square blue sign every 500 metres.
It’s worth keeping the number of your breakdown company and your membership number in your phone. Some breakdown services offer free mobile phone apps, often even if you are not a member.
If you can’t use your mobile phone after a breakdown, and there’s no emergency telephone in sight, follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder. These will direct you to the nearest appropriate telephone. Again for your own safety, never try to cross the motorway carriage to get to a phone on the opposite side.
While you’re waiting for breakdown service to arrive, wait outside your car and make sure any passengers do the same. Wait on the verge on the left hand side of your vehicle. If there is a safety barrier, wait behind it.
Whenever you get out of your vehicle on the hard shoulder, it’s safer to get out from the left side of it. If you have a reflective jacket with you, wear that any time you’re outside the vehicle.
Breaking down on the motorway is stressful, but planning in advance will place you in a better and less stressful position in case it happens.