Smart motorways – What to do if you breakdown on one

What to do if you breakdown on a smart motorway

Smart motorways have been hitting the headlines recently, and not for a good reason. Figures show that 38 people have died on them in the last five years. Campaigners have called into question the safety of using the hard shoulder as an extra lane to help ease congestion. In doing so, drivers are left with nowhere to seek refuge should they suffer a breakdown while on the motorway.

Below we’ve included some guidance around what to do if you break down on smart motorway.

Smart Motorways – Advice from Highways England

According to the official Government advice, here’s what you should do if there’s a problem with your car:

  • Get off the motorway as soon as possible – if you’re travelling at 60mph, Highways England calculates that you should be within 75 seconds of an emergency refuge area at any given time
  • Emergency refuge areas are laybys, and you’ll recognise them by their signposts – an orange SOS telephone symbol on a blue background
  • When you’ve pulled into a refuge area, use the orange emergency phone to call for help. This will tell the control centre exactly where you are
  • You’ll also need to phone your own breakdown service provider as it’s still your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is recovered.

If you can’t get to an emergency refuge area:

  • Pull as far over as you can onto the verge, boundary or slip road
  • Turn your hazard lights, side lights and rear fog lights on. Don’t put out a warning triangle. The speed of traffic can blow these away, causing a potential risk to other drivers.
  • Get out of the car using the left-hand doors, but only if it’s safe to do so and there’s a barrier you can stand behind
  • If you have a pet with you, leave them in the car to avoid them running off into the traffic.
  • Call your breakdown service provider
  • If you don’t have breakdown cover and can’t reach an emergency roadside telephone, call Highways England on 0300 123 5000 from your mobile phone
  • If it’s not safe to get out, remain in your car with your seat belt(s) fastened and phone 999.

Smart motorways are constantly monitored, ad it shouldn’t take long for the lane you’re in to be closed while you’re waiting for help to arrive. You can read more official Highways England advice about driving on smart motorways here.

This is a marketing article by A-Plan Insurance