Breakdown Advice

Breaking down on a motorway or other road can be a difficult situation to deal with, particularly if you are alone, elderly, disabled, or have young children as passengers.

Before setting out:

Always make sure that your vehicle has enough water, oil and fuel for your journey and check your spare wheel and jack. It's easy, and can save time and hassle later.

If you break down:

On The Motorway:

  • Stop on the hard shoulder as far to the left as possible. Turn your steering wheel to the left so that in the unlikely event of a shunt the car does not end up in the road. 
  • Put your HAZARD LIGHTS on.  
  • Find the nearest emergency telephone that puts you straight through to the POLICE.  
  • Remember to face the ONCOMING traffic.  
  • If another vehicle or driver approaches you, pass their details on to the operator and tell the driver that you have done this. If they are just trying to help they will understand. 

Decide if you want to stay inside or outside the vehicle


It is generally safer to get out of the vehicle.

  • Only use the doors nearest the verge.  
  • Keep clear of the vehicle and well onto the verge.  
  • If you are alone leave one passenger door unlocked, so you can get back in the car quickly if you have to.  


If you stay inside the vehicle:

  • Sit in the passenger seat with all doors locked.  
  • Do not get out if you are approached.  
  • If someone stops to offer help, tell them the Police are on the way.  
  • If you want to, you can ask anyone who stops to help to call the Police again for you.  

On other roads:

  • Try to keep going until you find a safe place to stop like a verge or gateway.  
  • If you can, try and stop near a building where you might be able to get help.  
  • If there is fast moving traffic then you are safer out of the vehicle.  

Nuisance drivers:

If you think another vehicle is following you:

  • Slow down to let them pass.  
  • If this doesn't work or they flash their lights, KEEP MOVING.  
  • Only stop in an area where you can safely call the police for help.  


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