Most motorists that breakdown on a motorway hard shoulder would wait for assistance in some of the most dangerous spots, an AA survey concluded. The 15,000 respondents were asked where they would wait. The options included inside the car, immediately in front on the hard shoulder, or immediately behind on the hard shoulder. There were further options behind the motorway safety barrier. They were immediately to the car’s left, behind it and diagonally left, or in front of the car and diagonally to its left.
22% of survey respondents would stand in front of the car and diagonally to its left. That is typically considered the most dangerous spot. If the stricken car is struck from behind by another, it would likely be pushed forward toward anyone in the area. In contrast, 34% of people would stand immediately to the car’s left, 1% would wait inside, 0.5% would be in front, and 0.5% would wait immediately behind. 1% did not know where they would be.
Only 41% of survey respondents would stand in what is typically considered the safest position. This is behind the stricken vehicle, diagonally to its left, and behind the motorway safety barrier. Motorists here are typically less likely to be hit by a car that momentarily wanders onto the hard shoulder. Neither are they in the firing line if the stricken vehicle is hit from behind.
AA motorway breakdown advice
Sean Sidley, AA Patrol of the Year, confirmed what to do on the motorway if your vehicle lets you down. 'Breaking down on a motorway is a scary experience and drivers make things worse by waiting in the wrong place’, he said. 'If you can get out of your vehicle, the safest exit is normally through the passenger doors. Get over the barrier and walk past the car boot toward the oncoming traffic. This limits your contact with other road users’, he added.
Mr Sidley suggested it is then typically best to stay in position until told otherwise. He also had advice for anyone with poor mobility. ‘We advise they remain in the car with their seatbelt and hazard lights on'. He further explained what to pack in the car to make life easier during a breakdown, particularly in winter. He suggested a coat, hat, gloves, fluorescent vest, water, and high energy snacks. These can be ‘a saving grace’, Mr Sidley emphasised.