Fleet News

Drivers must heed breakdown advice

COMPANY car drivers are putting lives at risk because many of them are unsure of their employers’ policies on breakdowns.

Statistics have shown that many business drivers either do not know what to do in the event of a breakdown, or ignore safety advice given to them.

New research by AA Business Services has shown that half of motorists breaking down on motorways would remain in the vehicle on the hard shoulder.

In one case a businessman refused to leave his car as he was wearing an expensive suit that he did not want to get wet.

Roger Williams, head of major fleets and leasing at AA Business Services, said: ‘Ignoring hard- shoulder breakdown advice is without doubt the worst and most dangerous thing company car drivers can do.

‘Staying in your car leaves you at risk of being involved in a collision with passing vehicles, but still a frightening number of drivers take this gamble.’

The study also revealed one driver tried to change a wheel in the inside lane of the M6 while others wandered alone on badly-lit backstreets after an accident.

Williams added: ‘Company car drivers are among the worst offenders, either because they haven’t been given advice about what to do, or because it isn’t their vehicle and they haven’t considered what to do if they break down.’

The AA’s advice includes pulling on to the hard shoulder as far left as possible, turning the wheels to the left to avoid the car being shunted onto the carriageway and leaving sidelights and hazard lights on.

They also advise stopping near an emergency phone, leaving the vehicle by the left-hand door and wearing a reflective jacket, but not using reflective triangles due to the risk involved in walking along the hard shoulder.

Stranded motorists should keep away from the carriageway, up the bank or behind a barrier if possible, and must not attempt what appear to be simple repairs.

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