Police issue safety advice to drivers following serious collision

Do you know what to do if you breakdown on a major road?

Yesterday on the A180 in North Lincolnshire a broken down car was struck by a car-transporter.  The car was completely destroyed and pushed up the roadside embankment. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.
Chief Inspector Mark Bishop of Humberside Police’s Special Operation Unit feels it serves as a reminder to drivers to get out and stay out of their vehicle if they break down, “This collision could have been so much worse if the driver had not got out of the vehicle and waited safety at the top of the grass verge.  The driver of the car-transporter suffered minor injuries and will make a full recovery.

“It is so important to remember the advice to get out and away from your vehicle if you breakdown.”

The key advice is:

  • If you can, drive to the next exit and leave the motorway
  • Only in an emergency should you pull onto the hard shoulder, making sure you are as far left as possible
  • Switch on your hazard lights
  • Get out of your car from the passenger side
  • Walk up the verge away from the car
  • Do not attempt to do any repairs yourself, however simple
  • If possible use an emergency phone on the motorway as this is a free phone that connects the Highways Agency. If you do use your mobile phone make sure you know exactly where you are
  • Keep all children and animals under control.

If you cannot get your vehicle to the hard shoulder,

  • Do not place any warning device (such as a warning triangle) in the carriageway
  • Switch on your hazards
  • Only leave the vehicle when it is safe to do so and you can get across the carriageway


Additional information:

The Highway Code states:

Rule 275

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 (see Rule 283). 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.

Rule 277

If you cannot get your vehicle onto the hard shoulder

  • do not attempt to place any warning device on the carriageway
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • leave your vehicle only when you can safely get clear of the carriageway.

Rule 278

Disabled drivers. If you have a disability which prevents you from following the above advice you should

  • stay in your vehicle
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • display a ‘Help’ pennant or, if you have a car or mobile telephone, contact the emergency services and be prepared to advise them of your location.

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