Terry's Towing Blog

Two Steps to Take if Your Vehicle Breaks Down on a Busy Motorway

One of the most dangerous places to break down is a busy motorway; in this environment, there is a high risk that either you, your passengers or your vehicle will be struck by oncoming traffic. Here are two steps you should take to stay safe and uninjured until the towing company's truck comes to assist you:

Take preventative measures to reduce the chances of a collision

There are several preventative measures you will need to take to reduce the chances of another road user colliding with your vehicle during the time that you have to wait for the tow truck to arrive.

First and foremost, you should try to park it far away from oncoming traffic. Ideally, you should leave it on the hard shoulder, making sure to position it as close to the motorway barrier as is physically possible. This will not only lessen the likelihood of other road users striking your car but will also make it easier for you to safely exit it without getting hit by another vehicle.

Additionally, if possible, you should try to make your car visible to other drivers, as this will help them to see and avoid colliding with it as they approach the hard shoulder.

There are a few ways to increase the visibility of your car. If the battery in your vehicle is still working, keep the indicator lights switched on. If you have a pop-up reflective traffic cone in your boot, you should place this a few metres away from your car.

Get out of the vehicle

A lot of people in this situation make the mistake of choosing to remain inside their vehicles until the towing company comes to rescue them. Whilst it might feel safe and perhaps be more comfortable to sit in your car during this waiting period (particularly if it is raining heavily or is very cold outside), it can actually be extremely dangerous.

Even if you manage to park your vehicle far into the hard shoulder, there is still a significant risk that a speeding vehicle will hit it. If you are inside the car when this happens, you could end up sustaining severe injuries.

As such, it is best to get out of the car (via the side which is farthest away from oncoming traffic) and climb over the barrier. It should be noted, however, that any pets you happen to be travelling with (such as a dog or a cat) should be left in the car. This is because there is a chance that if you bring them with you over the barrier, they may panic and run onto the busy motorway.