What to do if you break down


Stopping in an emergency:

  • Pull on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible with wheels turned to the left.
  • Leave your sidelights on and turn on the hazard warning lights.
  • Get out of the vehicle by the left-hand door and make sure that all your passengers do the same.
  • Leave animals in the vehicle or in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge.
  • If you have reflective jackets in the vehicle wear them – do not use a warning triangle on the hard shoulder.
  • Make sure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder and children are kept under control – it is best to retreat up the bank, or behind a barrier if this is possible.
  • Try to stop near an emergency telephone (situated at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder)
  • Walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway (follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder) – the telephone is free of charge and connects directly to the Highways Agency or the police.


Do Not:

  • Stop to go to the toilet.
  • Stop to use a mobile phone.
  • Stop to check a route or a map.
  • Attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway.
  • Try to repair even simple problems.


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