Unfortunately, many HGV drivers will experience a breakdown on the UK’s roads and knowing what to do if you experience a vehicle breakdown is vitally important to keep yourself and others safe.
As one of the leading driver recruitment agencies in the South of England, Drive Personnel has put together our top tips for breakdown safety.
Find a Safe Place to Stop
If you experience a breakdown in your vehicle, one of the first things to do is to try to find the safest place to stop.
Before a full vehicle breakdown happens, you may experience a sudden loss of power or recognise a mechanical fault. If this happens, put on your left indicator, and try to slowly drive your vehicle to the nearest safe area away from traffic and park as far over to the left-hand side as possible.
Parking to the left of a road, albeit a residential road or a motorway hard shoulder, will help reduce the potential of accidents caused by passing traffic.
Use an Emergency Refuge Area (ERA)
If you experience a breakdown on a smart motorway, try to safely manoeuvre your vehicle to an emergency refuge area (ERA). ERAs are marked with a blue sign with an orange SOS phone icon.
In the Emergency Refuge Area there will be an SOS phone. Use this phone to contact Highways England and a representative will tell you what to do next.
Lights – Once you have found the safest place to pull your vehicle over, turn on your hazard lights and if it is dark or foggy, turn on your sidelights too. This will warn others of your presence and allow drivers to take appropriate action to avoid you.
Hi-Viz Clothing – If you must leave your vehicle and have a Hi-Viz jacket or vest, make sure you put this on so you can be seen more clearly by other road users.
Warning Triangle – If you have stopped in a safe place that is away from a motorway, you can place a warning triangle at least 45m behind your vehicle. Do not place a warning triangle on a motorway hard shoulder.
Safely Exit Your Vehicle
If it is safe to leave your vehicle, ensure that you use the left hand door and move as far away as you can. If there is a safety barrier, stand behind that for extra protection from passing traffic. Do not stand behind or beside your vehicle.
Note: If it is not possible to exit your vehicle safely, there’s no safe place to wait, or you feel your life is in danger, put your hazard warning lights on and stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on and your wheels facing left (away from traffic). If you have a mobile phone, dial ‘999’ immediately.
Drive Personnel is a specialist driver recruitment agency based in Southampton. We support our drivers and help them maximise their earning potential by providing training and professional development including further HGV Driver Training, Driver CPC Training, ADR, Moffett, HIAB and other advanced training.
The team at Drive Personnel is expert in placing drivers in a range of temporary and permanent roles throughout Eastleigh, Southampton, Portsmouth, Fareham and Winchester. If you’re a driver looking for work or a client looking for a driver agency that can provide top-quality logistics staff, contact us today.