What Steps Should You Take If You Break Down on a Busy Motorway?

Posted on: 24 February 2023

Breaking down on a busy motorway is never fun. It can be stressful and dangerous, so knowing what to do is important if you find yourself in this situation. With that in mind, and so you should be as prepared as possible for the eventuality, take a look at what steps should you take so you handle this nightmare safely and effectively.

Try to Pull Over Safely

First, you should try to pull your vehicle over as far away from the main flow of traffic as possible. Ideally, you'll have some warning before your car breaks down. If so, use your hazard lights and quickly try to steer off the road onto the hard shoulder. However, you may not have time to pull over safely if your engine suddenly cuts out or you get an unexpected flat tyre while driving. In this case, turn on your hazard lights and coast until you can get off the motorway onto an exit or lay-by.

Wait in Safety

It's important not to leave your car until help arrives. Instead, you should wait inside for assistance with all doors locked and windows closed (unless it's too hot). Never attempt any repairs yourself; even something as simple as changing a tyre can quickly become dangerous if done incorrectly on a busy motorway hard shoulder. Remember that it is illegal in some places to stop or stand on a motorway unless there is an emergency. So, you should follow any local laws about waiting for assistance after breaking down on the highway.

There are some circumstances where you might be safer if you (and all your passengers) exit the vehicle. This may be the case if you stop in a particularly dangerous area where approaching drivers cannot see the vehicle. In this situation, ensure that your passengers exit from the nearside doors only and then quickly move behind a sturdy obstacle, such as a crash barrier.

Call for Help

Once everyone is safe, call for help. An emergency roadside assistance company will be able to send someone out right away to tow you or help fix whatever problem has caused your breakdown. Be sure to give them all relevant information about your exact location, so they can easily find you if needed. As soon as possible, call anyone who needs to be updated about your situation—a spouse, family member, employer or friend—to let them know that you are safe and what is happening.

Be Prepared

Breaking down on a busy motorway can be scary, but following these steps, you should be able to get through it with minimal risk of injury or additional damage to your vehicle. Note down the number of an emergency towing service and store this information in your phone. This will make it easier for you to act should something like this happen to you.

For more information about emergency towing, contact a local company.