No matter where you experience a breakdown, you’ll be faced with issues such as how to stay safe, how to get help and how to warn other motorists.
Breaking down on a motorway can be stressful and dangerous.
Still, by following some essential safety tips, you can ensure your safety – and the safety of other Northern Ireland motorists – until you are rescued from the roadside.
1. Get your car to a safe place.
Breaking down on a motorway is frustrating; vehicles are driving past you at speeds of up to 70MPH.
The first thing you need to do if your car is experiencing issues is to get to a safe place.
Ideally, if your car will take you to the next junction and get you off the motorway, then that’s great.
If not, pull on to the hard shoulder, exit your vehicle and wait behind the safety barrier.
2. Warn other motorists that you have broken down.
Motorists need to know if there are potential hazards ahead of them, and one of the simplest ways of letting them know is to put your hazard lights on.
3. Call for help.
Regardless of who you have your breakdown membership with, you can speed up the whole process by preparing some information.
Do you know what the problem is with your car? Use your ears, nose, and eyes and see if you can uncover the issue.
For example, write down any warning lights that appear on your car’s dashboard.
What happens when you turn the ignition; are there any noises?
Find out as much about the problem as possible; it will help your breakdown rescue team send out the right experts and equipment.
Next, if you have a phone signal, find out the full name and address of your usual mechanic; this means the rescue team can prepare to leave your car at your mechanic’s premises.
4. Wait in a safe place.
Motorways are dangerous for pedestrians.
Fast-moving cars, vans and lorries are certainly not a place where you want to hang around any longer than is necessary.
Exit your car safely on the door closer to the embankment; never exit your vehicle directly onto the motorway.
If possible, stand as far away from the motorway as possible until your breakdown rescue team arrives.
5. Make yourself visible.
We recommend all Northern Ireland drivers carry a warm, high-vis coat in their car; you never know when you might need it, especially on a motorway or country road.
If you’ve already got one packed, put your high-vis coat on and stay as far away from the motorway as possible.
Your reflective coat will alert motorists that there is a hazard ahead as well as helping your breakdown rescue team find you.
Over 20,000 Northern Ireland members trust Granite Breakdown. You can get an annual membership today for only £30.