Q593: What should I do if I break down on the motorway?
The following information is intended only as a guide and common sense should be used at all times. The main issue to consider is the safety of you and your passengers.
If your vehicle develops a problem, leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a service area. If you cannot do so, you should:
- Pull on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned to the left.
- Try to stop near an emergency telephone (situated at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder).
- Leave the vehicle by the left-hand door and ensure your passengers do the same. You must leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway.
- Do not put yourself in danger by attempting even simple repairs.
- Ensure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder, and that children are kept under control.
- Walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway (follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder) – the telephone is free of charge and connects directly to an operator. Use these in preference to a mobile phone. Always face the traffic when you speak on the phone.
- Give full details to the operator; also inform them if you are a vulnerable motorist such as disabled, older or travelling alone.
- Return and wait near your vehicle (well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder).
- If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle by a left-hand door and lock all doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel this danger has passed.
For more information see links in related information.