When you’re keeping on top of your vehicle’s maintenance, promptly addressing any faults or vehicle irregularities, these simple preparatory measures can reduce the risk of an untimely breakdown. However, if the worst does happen and you breakdown on the motorway, knowing what to do optimises not only your own safety but the safety of your passengers and other road users.
Read on to discover our step-by-step guide to what to do when you break down on the motorway.
Leave The Motorway And Park Safely (If Possible)
If it’s clear from your car’s performance that a breakdown is imminent, try to leave the motorway if at all possible. Even on the hard shoulder, a high traffic environment is still a dangerous place to be. If you can get onto the slip road or into a service area, you and your passengers will be much safer. If there isn’t time to leave the motorway, pull over onto the hard shoulder.
Safeguard Your Safety And That Of Other Road Users
As soon as you’ve stopped, put on your hazard lights so that other motorists know you’re there. If you have a reflective hazard warning triangle, it’s sensible to deploy that some distance behind the vehicle, if safe to do so. Again, if you can do so safely, get out and lift the bonnet of your vehicle, to show that it’s broken down. Do this even if the fault lies elsewhere on the vehicle.
Safeguard Your Passengers
Unfortunately, a significant number of cars parked on the hard shoulder are hit every year. Don’t let your passengers become statistics! It’s usually safer for them to wait behind the crash barrier, at some distance from the motorway. They should exit from the side furthest from the traffic.
In some circumstances (depending on the surrounding environment), it may be safer to stay in the car. If you do, make sure all passengers keep their seatbelts on.
Fix The Fault If You Can
If you have a flat tire, for example, and you can change it for the spare safely, you should do so. Similarly, if you can diagnose and fix the problem using your own knowledge and the tools you have available, you should do so.
Get Roadside Assistance
It’s important for you and fellow road users that your time on the hard shoulder is kept to an absolute minimum. If you don’t know what’s the matter with your vehicle, and/or you can’t fix it, you need to call for roadside assistance.
If you have a breakdown provider, you should use your mobile phone to call them. If you don’t, that’s where we can assist. Remember that Banjo’s Anytime Towing Service offers affordable motorway recovery 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days a year in and around Darwin. Call on 0408 171392 for prompt, reliable service.