Breakdowns can happen to anyone, which is why it’s important to make sure that you have your car serviced regularly so you know that it remains safe to drive. But it’s equally important to know what to do in the event your vehicle does break down, especially if you’re on the motorway, which can be quite a scary event, depending on how busy the roads are.
To help drivers keep their cool and know what to do in emergency, Highways England has just launched a new motorway safety campaign, with the advert featuring a version of the Pet Shop Boys’ hit Go West… encouraging people to make sure that they go left if they do break down.
Last year, there were nearly 230,000 reported breakdowns across the network, including approximately 207,500 on motorways.
And in the year from June 2019, around 40,000 such incidents were the result of tyre issues, while over 6,000 were because of vehicles running out of fuel, again suggesting the importance of having your car serviced, as well as keeping an eye on the fuel gauge.
Highways England acting chief executive Nick Harris said: “No one plans to break down on a motorway, but if the unexpected happens then I want all motorists to know what to do so that they can keep themselves and others safe.
“Everyone wants a safe journey and raising awareness is a vital part of helping to make sure that happens. This new campaign and its Go Left message is designed to deliver crucial information in an accessible way and to help make motorways safer for the people who use them.”
This new campaign comes as part of an 18-point action plan, designed to improve safety and public confidence on smart motorways.
If you do run into trouble with your car on the motorway, it’s important to stay calm and try and get off at the next junction or motorway service area.
If you can’t, put your left indicator on and move into the left lane, then enter the hard shoulder or next emergency area. Put your hazard lights on and get behind a safety barrier if there is one, keeping away from moving traffic.
Should you be unable to exit the vehicle and get yourself to a safe place, if you feel your life is in danger or if you have come to a stop in a live traffic lane, make sure you stay in your car with your seatbelts and hazard lights on, and call 999 immediately.
Always make sure you carry details of a breakdown recovery provider with you and if you do see a warning light on your vehicle dashboard, do not ignore it. Always take action to sort it out before you drive anywhere.
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