What to do if you Breakdown on a Motorway


Cars breakdown at the most inopportune times and often in the worst places so we have five simple tips to keep you and your passengers safe writes Geraldine Herbert

1) Move to the hard shoulder as quickly as possible – If is important to move your car as fast as you can onto the hard shoulder and once there try to park the car in as tight as you can. Put on your hazard lights and the car’s sidelights and if visibility is bad you should also put on your rear fog lights.

2) Get everyone out- While it is not a legal requirement it is always useful to have a fluorescent high-visibility vest or jacket in your car so if you have one now is the time to put it on. Get everyone else out of the car and remember to always leave the car by the passenger side and not the driver’s side. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway

3) Don’t spend time trying to repair the problem – Never attempt to repair the car yourself, you shouldn’t try to carry out even minor repairs – and that includes changing a tyre – on the hard shoulder .

4) Call for help – Either call for help or walk to the nearest roadside assistance phone box, remaining behind the barriers at all times, which are located at regular intervals along the roadside. If you are a member of a breakdown service, when call them they will ask you for details of the car, the situation and will also want to know your location. Many breakdown recovery companies give priority to motorway call-outs due to the extra danger the passengers face in this exposed environment.

5) Wait somewhere safe – Stay well away from the motorway and hard shoulder as you wait for help to arrive.


Geraldine Herbert




Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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