A POLL has worryingly revealed that most drivers don't know where to stand while waiting for help if their car breaks down.
The results of the survey suggested that thousands of motorists would likely put themselves in danger if they run into trouble with their vehicles.
Breaking down on a motorway is quite overwhelming – but do you know where to stand? Credit: PA
Amidst the chaos of your car giving up on you on a busy motorway, it seems Brits are throwing health and safety out of the window.
Nearly 59 per cent of drivers said they would stand in a hazardous spot while waiting for a recovery vehicle after pulling onto the hard shoulder.
And the concerning figure includes some people who said they would position themselves in the direct line of where their car could catapult if another driver bumped into the back of their malfunctioning motor.
The alarming results of an AA survey of over 15,000 drivers uncovered that many drivers would end up gambling their safety when experiencing car trouble.
A terrifying 22 per cent of drivers said they would stand diagonally in FRONT of their broken down vehicle – one of the most perilous places to wait.
And around 1 per cent of motorists said they would sit tight and wait inside their broken down car.
But 41 per cent of driving-savvy Brits said they would wait in the safest place.
This would be standing behind the motorway barrier, well away from the high-speed traffic and a safe distance away from the boot of the flailing vehicle.
If another driver plowed into the back of the broken down car, it would likely career down the lane or through the barrier, potentially hitting a stranded motorist.
The results of the AA survey vary slightly when discussing the prospect of breaking down on a smart motorway.
Drivers may then have the option to reach an emergency refuge area (ERA) to wait for assistance, which should be available every half a mile to a mile if there is no hard shoulder.
National Highways, who are responsible for the management of smart motorways, have some additional advice for those using the modern stretches.
They say if drivers can get off the motorway or to an ERA, first they should move their vehicle as close as possible to the left-hand verge, boundary or slip road.
Then, if it is safe to do so, exit via the left-hand doors and wait behind the safety barrier.
But if motorists cannot exit the motorway or reach an ERA, they should stay in the vehicle with their seatbelts fastened and hazard lights on.
Zone 1 is the safest place to stand while breaking down on a motorway with a hard shoulder Credit: AA
Zone 1 is also the safest place to stand while waiting in an Emergency Refuge Area on a smart motorway Credit: AA
Drivers should then call 999 immediately so that the lane can be closed as quickly as possible.
Some Brits believed these were also the instructions to follow even if they did manage to reach an ERA, as 2 per cent said they would stay in their cars.
Sean Sidley, AA patrol of the year, said of the survey: “Breaking down on a motorway is a scary experience and drivers can make things worse by waiting in the wrong place.
“Should the car be hit, the force of the collision could prove fatal.
“If you can get out of your vehicle, the safest exit is normally through the passenger doors, get over the barrier, walk past the car boot and towards the oncoming traffic.
“This limits your contact with other road users. Once there, you should stay in that location until you are instructed otherwise,” he said.
“For those with limited mobility, we advise they remain in the vehicle with their seatbelt and hazard warning lights on.”
Sean continued: “As we head into the depths of winter with more cold, wet and dark conditions there is a temptation to wait in the car.
“Keeping a coat, hat, gloves, water, high-energy snacks and a fluorescent vest in the car for you and your passengers can be a saving grace.”
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