Car breakdowns on the motorway

Published on 11 January 2014

ul li { padding: 0 0 10px 0; }

Breaking down while driving on the motorway can be a frightening experience. It can sometimes be hard and dangerous to stop, especially when you’re travelling at speed.

If you do break down on the motorway, you should try to take your car off the road.

Stopping on a moving lane is extremely dangerous but it’s worth remembering that stopping on the hard shoulder can be dangerous also. You should only use the hard shoulder if it is an emergency (incidentally you should never use it to make a phone call, check a map or go to the toilet).

Use your warning lights immediately if you have to slow down or stop. If you can, drive to a side road off the motorway.

If stopping on the hard shoulder is a must, pull in as far away from the main road as you can, and turn your wheels away from the road. Leave on your hazard warning lights while you are stopped.

Get out of the passenger side of the car. While waiting on the Gardai or a recovery service, you should try to stand on a verge or behind the barrier but stay near your car.

Breakdown assistance

If you are unfortunate enough to breakdown on a motorway, we can provide breakdown assistance. Please refer to your policy booklet to see if this is included in your cover. This includes:

  • 24hr Roadside assistance
  • Home Start
  • Vehicle recovery or Journey completion

While it might be tempting to change your own tyre or make repairs, you really shouldn’t, as it can be highly dangerous.

If you have a phone, you can use it to ring a repair service, but if not, walk alongside the carriageway to the nearest rescue phone. Never cross the carriageway.

When you’re getting back on the road, make sure you build up speed on the hard shoulder first. Wait until there is a safe gap in the traffic before rejoining the motorway.