The dangers of parking on the hard shoulder

Motorway dangers – parking on the hard shoulder

If you break down or need to stop for some reason while driving on the motorway you need to get out of the vehicle as quickly and safely as possible and head for the verge. More to often is the case that someone breaks down at night or while its raining or snowing and it feels safer to sit in the car and wait for help, but this really isn’t the case.

The hard shoulder is an extremely dangerous place and we have listed below the top 5 personal safety tips as recommended and issued by The Survive Group.

• You should pull onto the hard shoulder and park as far left as possible and near an emergency roadside telephone if you can. Turn on your vehicles hazard warning lights.
• Leave your vehicle immediately via the left hand door. Make sure your passengers do the same. You should leave any animals in the vehicle, or keep them under proper control on the verge.
• Contact the Highways Agency via the emergency roadside telephone. Always use this in preference to a mobile phone, as your location will be pinpointed on the operator’s screen so it will be easier to find you. On the motorways, you will see these spaced at one mile intervals, with roadside markers displaying an arrow pointing you in the direction of the nearest phone.
• Wait well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder for help to arrive. You should never attempt even the simplest of repairs.
• If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle via the left hand door, fasten your seatbelt and lock all the doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel the risk has passed.

As a haulage company our drivers spend the majority of their working week on Britain’s motorways and are fully aware of motorway dangers. The hard shoulder is often a place where vehicles swerve while a driver takes his mind off things for a split second or trucks in particular are blown into by winds that a car wouldn’t feel but to an empty trailer with a large curtain on an exposed stretch of motorway a quick gust can mean a slight loss of control and a car parked in the hard shoulder could be caught full on or simply swiped by the trailer and any of these situations can be fatal to both occupants of the car and truck driver.

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