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Breakdown Safety

Breaking down wastes time and money. Not only this, but in 2007, 117 people were killed or seriously injured on the hard shoulder. It’s vital that you know what to do in the event of a breakdown.

Avoid breaking down
Most breakdowns are due to poor vehicle maintenance and could have been avoided
Work with your employer to ensure your vehicle is regularly serviced and checked, 
  including wipers, tyres and fluid levels
Report faults immediately
Ensure you understand your vehicle warning lights

General breakdown procedures
If possible, avoid stopping in dangerous places such as roundabouts and corners
Switch on your hazard lights
If it is safe to do so, drop your speed, continue driving and try to pull off the road completely,
  or onto a straight section of road
If you have to stop on a road, display your emergency triangle at least 45 metres behind 
  your vehicle (don’t do this on a motorway)
Do not attempt to fix your vehicle yourself by the roadside. Call your employer’s
  designated breakdown service
Switch off your engine and wait in a safe place, away from traffic

Calling for help
If possible, use the nearest emergency phone
On motorways, blue and white marker posts show the direction of the nearest phone
The phones connect directly to the police control centre and are numbered so that you 
  can be easily located
If using your mobile phone, refer to the new blue rectangular Driver Location Signs,
  which detail the road number (e.g. M1), direction of travel and precise location

Motorway breakdown procedures
If your vehicle develops a problem on the motorway:
Leave at the next exit if possible and stop at the next service area
If you must stop immediately, pull onto the hard shoulder and stop with wheels
  turned to the left, away from traffic
Park as close to the left as possible and try to stop near an emergency phone
Put on your hazard lights and turn on side lights in poor visibility
DO NOT use your warning triangle on the hard shoulder
NEVER attempt repairs yourself

Waiting for help
If you must stop on the hard shoulder:
ALWAYS get out of the vehicle
Make sure you and all passengers exit the vehicle on the left-hand side
Walk off the road – up the embankment if there is one, or climb over the crash barrier
  into a field if possible
NEVER try to cross lanes to the other side of a motorway

Be prepared
Carry a charged mobile phone (switched off and out of reach while driving)
Carry an emergency kit, including warm and high visibility clothing, a torch, water
  and a reflective triangle
Ask your employer to confirm what, if anything, is provided by them


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