Wilmslow Express - - LAUGHING BADGER -

ON’T let a break­down get you down

This week, the In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Mo­torists’ chief ex­am­iner Peter Rodger, is ad­vis­ing driv­ers on how to han­dle a break­down on the mo­tor­way.

Six out of ten deaths on mo­tor­ways in­volve a sta­tion­ary ve­hi­cle, so break­ing down is a very high risk. Here are Peter’s seven tips to guide you through the process.

1. Al­ways be pre­pared – keep a high visibility jacket, some­thing wa­ter­proof and a charged mo­bile phone in your ve­hi­cle.

2. Don’t press on if you feel your car has a prob­lem; pull over onto the hard shoul­der and park as far left as pos­si­ble to avoid slow­ing down traf­fic be­hind you.

3. Al­ways turn on your haz­ard warn­ing lights to let other road users know you are slow­ing down and pulling over.

4. Never at­tempt to re­pair the prob­lem your­self. Ide­ally, call mo­tor­way con­trol us­ing a road­side phone and then con­tact your break­down com­pany.

5. You should al­ways call for help us­ing an emer­gency road­side tele­phone. The dis­tance to the near­est phone is marked on a sign on the hard shoul­der. Never cross the car­riage­way to get to a phone on the other side. The op­er­a­tor will have al­ready picked up your lo­ca­tion if you use this phone.

6. Make sure you and any pas­sen­gers leave your ve­hi­cle by the left-hand door – never wait in­side the ve­hi­cle un­til help ar­rives. Stay be­hind a bar­rier or up the em­bank­ment. If you feel threat­ened leave the near­side door open.

7. SMART mo­tor­ways use the hard shoul­der as an ex­tra lane to give you more ca­pac­ity on the mo­tor­way. If your car de­vel­ops a prob­lem on this type of mo­tor­way, leave at the next exit, or pull into a mo­tor­way ser­vice area. If you would like fur­ther ad­vice on how to cope with a break­down on a SMART mo­tor­way please re­fer to page nine of the High­ways Eng­land driver book­let.

Peter said: “Break­downs some­times can­not be avoided, but the ef­fect of them can be made as pain­less as pos­si­ble. If you pre­pare for ev­ery even­tu­al­ity, you can avoid the ex­pe­ri­ence be­com­ing too in­con­ve­nient and be on your way be­fore too long.”

For more in­for­ma­tion visit the IAM’s web­site at www.iam.org.uk.

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