Avoiding road traffic accident claims when breaking down on the motorwayPosted on:10/28/2013
Written By: Justin Chan
|Breaking down is bad enough, but breaking down on the motorway can be even worse. While motorways are safe for people to drive on, they're one of the most dangerous places to break down, with personal injury solicitors frequently dealing with people who have broken down on the motorway and who need to make a road traffic accident claim because another driver ran into the back of them or collided with them when they were walking down the hard shoulder.
If possible, get your car off the motorway, such as by pulling into a service station or on to an A-road. It is far safer to stop in these locations than on the hard shoulder, although it is not always possible. If there is no alternative, carefully pull over to the hard shoulder, ensuring that you do not put other road users at risk when you do so. Turn the wheels to the left so that the car will move away from the road if it starts to roll.
Some experts recommend leaving children in the car, but if there is poor visibility or if you have stopped in a dangerous location, personal injury solicitors may recommend that you get them out of the car and to the grass verge behind the crash barriers in case another driver slams into the back of the vehicle. Whatever you do, ensure that your children are safe.
Calling for help
Some road traffic accident claims occur when stranded drivers are walking down towards emergency telephone boxes, but emergency phones are actually better at locating drivers than mobile phones. If possible, stop as close to an emergency phone as possible, but if walking to the emergency phone seems like it is hazardous, then use your mobile phone instead. Tell the emergency responders whether any members of your party are vulnerable, such as elderly people or children.
If you have punctured your wheel and have a spare tyre, you might think it is best to fix the problem yourself and get back in the driving seat as quickly as possible. However, changing a tyre on the motorway can be very dangerous, and road safety organisations recommend that you wait for expert help.
You should follow this advice if you are in a minor collision on the motorway in which no-one was hurt - fulfilling your legal obligations and responding to the accident promptly will help you in your road traffic accident claim. Don't forget to swap insurance details with the other driver and take down the contact information of any witnesses.
Breaking down on the motorway is the kind of event in which you will be grateful if you took out breakdown insurance, but if you are not covered against breakdowns, you should still contact the emergency services as quickly as possible. While the costs of your car recovery could be quite expensive, these costs are well worth the safety of yourself and your family.
Justin Chan loves driving his Toyota Avensis around the country lanes in Lancashire and seeing the beautiful sights of the county. He also looks into motor vehicle accident compensation claims for a team of car accident solicitors, which makes him a keen advocate of safe driving and improvements to the UK's roads.