Owners of Fleets Need to Promote Breakdown Safety Awareness among Drivers

New research from the RAC highlights a concerning lack of awareness among drivers when it comes to safety measures after breaking down on the motorway. A staggering 78% of drivers surveyed would inadvertently jeopardise their safety by stopping on the hard shoulder, with only 22% opting to stand at the rear of their vehicle, a safe distance from traffic.

Do NOT Stay in the Vehicle Unless You Physically Cannot Get Out.

More alarming is the revelation that 11% of drivers would remain inside their vehicle, exposing themselves to serious injury or fatality if another vehicle were to collide with them. Additionally, 65% would unknowingly put themselves at risk by standing in front of or next to their broken-down vehicle, increasing the likelihood of being hit by oncoming traffic. Stand to the side, even in bad weather and do not return to the vehicle.

Reports from nearly 200 RAC patrols further support these findings, indicating that 78% of motorway breakdown cases involved drivers still inside their vehicles upon arrival.

Taking the Correct Actions Can Save Lives

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Alice Simpson emphasised the importance of understanding the correct actions to take in such situations, especially during adverse weather conditions. She stressed the need for drivers to exit their vehicles and position themselves safely, recommending protective clothing for inclement weather.

In response to these findings, RAC patrols Glen Johnson and James Pallister have created an instructional video demonstrating the appropriate steps to take after a breakdown. Johnson highlighted the critical difference that correct positioning can make in ensuring safety on high-speed roads, emphasising the video's role in educating drivers.

In an Emergency, Stay Calm and Follow the Advice Below

Pallister echoed the importance of proper actions, advising drivers and passengers to exit from doors farthest from traffic, stand to the rear of their vehicle, and, if possible, behind a barrier. Exceptions were noted for those with mobility difficulties, who should remain inside with seatbelts on and contact emergency services.

What to Do If You Break Down on a Motorway:

1. Pull over on the hard shoulder if available.

2. Turn on your hazard lights and sidelights.

3. Activate rear fog lights in poor visibility (less than 100 meters).

4. Safely exit your vehicle using the doors furthest from traffic. Wear bright or high-visibility clothing if available.

5. If a safety barrier is present, wait behind it to the rear of your vehicle, being cautious of potholes and steep drops.

6. If no safety barrier is present, stand to the rear of your vehicle, far away from traffic.

7. Keep your eyes on the traffic at all times.

8. Stay calm and remain in place until the patrol arrives.

For Drivers or Passengers with Disabilities:

1. Stay inside the vehicle with your seatbelt on.

2. If possible, move everyone to the passenger side of the vehicle.

3. Call 999 to inform them of the situation.

4. Stay calm and remain in place until the patrol arrives.