Hard Shoulder Safety
Each year hundreds of people suffer serious injuries and lose their lives in road traffic accidents on the hard shoulder lanes of Britain ’s motorways and dual carriageways.
Many motorists who use the hard shoulder fail to realise the dangers of parking a car close to fast-moving and busy traffic and as a result many road traffic accidents occur in this situation. In fact, one in six motorway fatalities are attributed to car accidents on the hard shoulder.
Therefore it is important motorists who need to use it bear in mind some essential safety tips to avoid putting themselves and other drivers at risk.
Hard shoulder afety advice
If you think there is something wrong with your car whilst you are driving on a motorway and you are not able to continue to the next exit or service station, or an emergency forces you to stop, than you should safely pull onto the hard shoulder and decelerate until you come to a halt .
Before parking, you must make sure your car is parked as far away from the carriageways as possible, with your wheels turned towards the left. Once you are parked up you should follow these simple safety guidelines:
- Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence. If visibility is poor, use your sidelights.
- Ensure you and any occupants always exit and enter the car from the passenger side to avoid going too near the oncoming motorway traffic.
- Do not attempt to repair your vehicle on the hard shoulder, no matter what the problem is. It is highly dangerous, particularly on the side nearest the traffic. Leave repair work to the professionals and call for assistance.
- Make a call to your rescue company using the nearest emergency telephone. These are indicated by blue and white marker posts, placed at every 100 metres, which indicate the direction of the nearest phone.
- When walking along the hard shoulder to or from the telephone, keep as far away from the traffic as possible and n ever cross the carriageway to get to a telephone.
- Emergency telephones a re linked to police control centres and each one has a number which should be quoted when calling for help.
- This will make it easier for the breakdown or emergency services to pinpoint your exact position and get help to you as quick as possible. You should only use your mobile if it is not possible to use the emergency phone.
- Wait away from your car for the breakdown recovery company to arrive. It is safer for you and any passengers you may have to wait behind the crash barrier (if there is one) or o n the embankment near your vehicle . Remember, y ou are seven times more likely to be involved in an accident if you wait in your car.
- If it is not possible to wait outside of your vehicle or you feel threatened, then return to your car and wait in the front passenger seat with the doors locked. If you’re approached by a stranger while in the car speak to them with the window wound down slightly, but not enough for them to reach into the car.
- Do not under any circumstances accept any offers of a lift.
- Once your vehicle is repaired, return to the motorway using the hard shoulder as an acceleration lane and merge with the traffic in lane one when it is safe to do so.
Remember, the hard shoulder is a dangerous place and should only be used if your car breaks down, in an emergency, or if you have been asked to pull over by the police.
|Blow-up seat belts will give greater crash protection in rear car seats - Thu, 28 Jun 2012|
|Advanced drivers more aware of potential hazards on the road - Wed, 27 Jun 2012|
|Travellers find child seats hired with a rental car are substandard - Wed, 20 Jun 2012|