What should you do if you break down on a three-lane motorway?
Motorways are the most dangerous places to break down, because of the speeds vehicles travel at. Because of this, it is absolutely vital that you know what to do in the event of an emergency, to prevent an accident.
Motorways with a hard shoulder
If your truck suffers a blow out or a mechanical failure, you should stop on the hard shoulder, if it is safe to do so. The hard shoulder can only be used in the event of an emergency, and your truck becoming immobile is an emergency. Alternatively, you should pull into a service area or leave the motorway at an exit if you are able to do so. If you have stopped at any Emergency Refuge Areas (ERA) on the hard shoulder, you should use the SOS phone to contact the Regional Control Centre to alert them of the stoppage.
Motorways without a hard shoulder
If you suffer a mechanical failure on the three-lane motorway, and there’s no hard shoulder, you should do your best to get your truck off the carriageway. You should put on your hazard lights and move over to the left lane, and drive safely to the exit. If your truck cannot be moved, and you are forced to stop on the carriageway, move over to the left lane and put your hazard lights on immediately. If it is safe to do so, you should get out of your truck from the passenger side and wait behind the barrier. If it is not safe to leave your truck, you should stay in your truck with your seatbelt on and call 999.
Who should I call in the event of a motorway breakdown?
You should call the Highways Agency immediately on 0300 123 5000 if you have broken down on the motorway, so that they can slow the traffic down. The Highways Agency will also be able to recover your truck safely. If you have breakdown cover, then you should also call them immediately so that they can recover your vehicle, without burdening the Highways Agency. If you feel that there is an immediate risk or danger to life, then you should call 999 and ask to be put through to the police. On busy motorways, the traffic police may feel it necessary to close down one lane of the motorway until your truck is recovered, or they may feel it necessary to stop the motorway, if your truck is blocking one or more lanes. At all times, however, please remember to put on your hazard lights.