Breakdown Recovery

Breakdown Recovery Information

A vehicle breakdown can be a very stressful time and it is wise to be aware of what you should do when handling a roadside breakdown.

What to do in the case of a Motorway breakdown

The first thing to do is get your car to a safe place. If your car is still driveable you should get it off the main carriageway and in a place where other cars are unlikely to run into it. If your car is not running, you can move it a short distance by putting it in gear and cranking the ignition. This will not get you very far but may enable you to move your vehicle to a safe place.

You should turn your headlights or hazard warning lights on and once your vehicle is positioned safely, or can no longer be moved, you should place a warning triangle 50m away from your vehicle in the direction from where traffic is approaching it and you should wear a high visibility or reflective jacket if you have one.

Once this has been done, you should leave your car from the left hand side and you should position yourself, and any passengers, away from the vehicle in a safe place, such as a verge and away from the road. Animals should be kept securely in the vehicle. Only go back to your car if you feel at risk from other motorists. If there is a crash barrier you should keep behind it – It is very tempting to remain in your car if it is cold or raining but your car is a very dangerous place to stay when parked at the side of a motorway or busy road.

Fatalities on the hard shoulder in the UK account for 12.7% of all motorway deaths.

Getting Help

Go for help if you do not have a mobile phone and don't attempt any repairs yourself in such a dangerous position. Walk to an emergency telephone to contact your recovery service - these special SOS telephones are free to use. They help rescue services pinpoint your location accurately and also inform the police of your situation. If you do have a mobile phone, make sure you know your exact location if possible and contact a breakdown recovery service or motoring organisation if you belong to one. When making your call be sure to mention if you are a woman on your own, have young children with you or are accompanied by anyone who is old or frail. This will make you a priority.

If you vehicle has been fixed always make sure you have built up the correct speed on the hard shoulder before pulling onto the motorway. It is important that you are constantly looking out for other vehicles parked on the hard shoulder.

What to do on other roads

First of all if possible, get your broken down vehicle off of the road and park it in a safe position where it cannot cause an obstruction or be a danger to other road users. It is important to remember to turn your hazard lights on and to wear a high visibility or reflective jacket if you have one. If you possess a warning triangle then use it. Exit your car from the left and lead all passengers away from your vehicle if you think it could be hit or in danger from passing traffic. If you are in the scenario where it is dark or cold, it is best to stay in your vehicle with the sidelights and heater on.

Motoring Organisations / Breakdown Cover

Becoming a member of a motoring organisation can save you a great deal of money in the event of a breakdown. Motoring organisations can cover you from just roadside assistance up to European cover, footing any overnight hotel costs, transporting your vehicle to your destination or home and car rental costs – The decision of what cover you require is to be taken when you take out the cover and as any type of insurance the more comprehensive the coverage the more expensive the cover.

If you are not a member of a motoring organisation, a breakdown can become a very expensive experience. Be sure to keep the number of a reliable breakdown recovery company with you, one that you trust and know are reasonable when it comes to cost.

Cookies on Motoring Insight

Like many popular websites, Motoring Insight uses some third party widgets that may set and may have already set cookies, for example the Twitter feed on our homepage.
For more information see our cookie policy. By clicking close and continue you agree to our use of cookies.