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Highways England encourage motorists to ‘Go Left’ in motorway safety campaign

11 March 2021

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Highways England have launched their biggest ever campaign to highlight the safety procedures motorists should take in the eventuality of breaking down on a motorway or major A road, with or without a hard shoulder.

The campaign encourages motorists to ‘Go Left’ and comes off the back of recent concerns over the safety of smart motorways that do not have a hard shoulder.

Motorists who aren’t able to exit the motorway at the next available junction or service area should:

  • Apply their left indicator
  • Move into the left hand lane
  • Enter the next emergency area, or hard shoulder
  • Switch hazard lights on
  • Get behind a safety barrier if possible
  • Call Highways England on 0300 123 5000, then a breakdown provider for help.

Avoid a breakdown

The vast majority of breakdowns are avoidable. There are a number of checks you can do before setting off on your journey to help ensure that your vehicle is in good working order.

According to Highways England, there are over 85,000 breakdowns per year, with over 40% caused by vehicles running out of fuel, poor tyre maintenance, power loss and engine issues.

Tyre tread

Tyres must legally have a tread depth of 1.6mm. Tyres that don’t meet this minimum tread can have an adverse effect on your grip on the road, braking distance and steering.

Tyre pressure

Under or over-inflated tyres can affect your steering, braking distance, fuel efficiency and the lifetime of your tyres.

Fuel

It is recommended to always keep your tank at least one quarter full to avoid running out on your journey. Should you run out of fuel and breakdown in certain locations, you can even be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

Oil

Maintaining the correct oil level is essential to stop your vehicle’s engine seizing up and breaking down.

Screen wash level

It is important to keep your screen wash topped up, so that you can clear dirt and debris from your windscreen.

Lights

Check that your lights are in good working order prior to setting off. Faulty lights can lead to serious accidents if your vehicle cannot be seen by other motorists, or it is not clear how you are planning to manoeuvre.

 

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