AA Say 3 in 5 Drivers May Not Stand in Correct Place During Motorway Breakdown

Published Date: 25th Apr 2022

diagram showing best place to stand on motorway if breakdown occurs

The AA is reminding drivers of the best practises for safety should their car breakdown and they find themselves on the hard shoulder or in an Emergency Refuge Area of the motorway.

The AA say a study indicates that 60% of drivers may not stand in the safest position in the event their vehicle breaks down on one of Britain's major roads.

The poll of more than 15,000 people asked drivers where they would stand if their vehicle was stranded, and they had to stop/pull-over onto the hard shoulder.

Each person was presented with a diagram (like the one to the right) and asked to identify the box where they would stand, no.5 indicates they would stay in the car.

The good news is 41% chose zone one, which is according to the AA the safest place to stand. The AA say, the safest thing to do is exit your vehicle via passenger door if you can, get over the barrier and walk in the opposite direction traffic is travelling, past the rear of your vehicle and remain there until assistance arrives.

The AA also added, that in the cold winter months it is tempting for drivers to remain in their car but urged them not to, as this can be very dangerous.

Other choices drivers picked out from the diagram were Zone 2 (34%), Zone 3 (22%), Zone 4 (0.5%), Zone 5 (1%) and Zone 6 (0.5%), while 1% said they didn’t know.

As you can see 22% chose zone 3, and although this is behind the barrier it is considered unsafe as in the event an oncoming vehicle crashes into the stationary car, it is common for the impacted vehicle to be headed in the direction of zone 3.

Drivers were also asked the same question with the scenario of a breakdown on a motorway where they were able to pull over into Emergency Refuge Area (ERA), with the response of drivers similar.