Drivers given

breakdown advice

Motorway locator sign
Motorway distance locator sign
Motorway driving

A RESCUE company is sharing some insights for those who suffer a breakdown or emergency this winter - including eight ways to highlight your location and further assist recovery professionals.

Start Rescue says that although breakdown apps remain the easiest way to report your location and track your recovery waiting time, motorists should still be aware of other ways to communicate their position and increase their visibility in a winter breakdown scenario.

The company explains thatdriver location signs,positioned along the hard shoulder of motorways and A-roads, are often overlooked, and can be used by anyone to describe an exact location to the emergency services.

Two types of driver location signs exist - the most common featured on motorways across the UK, are distance marker posts, which are short, white signs with red reflectors and a blue strip that includes two lines of numbers, installed every 100-metres. The top line of numbers explains the distance along the motorway in kilometres from a given location which the emergency services will be aware of, while the lower line shows the tenths of kilometre. The marker posts' shorter side also provides a directional arrow with an image to inform of the nearest emergency roadside telephone.

In England, more visible rectangular blue signs appear on poles along the hard shoulder of motorways and some A-roads, positioned every 500-metres.

These signs display three pieces of information. The first line shows the road identifier, which states the motorway or A-road, for example, M25 or A1. The second line contains the carriageway direction identifier letter, which is normally "A", "B", "J", "K", "L" and "M".The letter "A" often stands for "Away from London" and is used for carriageways travelling away from London or clockwise on orbital motorways, whereas "B" often stands for "Back to London" or anticlockwise on orbital motorways.

Meanwhile, location numbers on the third line, increase in the direction of travel along the "A" carriageway, or decrease in the direction of travel along the "B" carriageway. The letters "J", "K", "L" and "M" indicate junction slip roads.

Start Rescue emphasises that the numbers on driver location signs are not a grid reference, they ascend or descend from a notional start point of the motorway.

Driver location signs are designed to help motorists identify their exact location to breakdown providers or the emergency services but can be overlooked by stranded motorists.

Start Rescue is also recommending seven other, safe and effective actions that may help motorists become easily identifiable in a breakdown scenario in difficult winter conditions:

1. Wiping down dirty number plates-on vehicles that are affected by winter grime

2. Regularly cleaning all lights-so that vehicles can see and be seen

3. Keeping vehicle bodyworkclean -as reflective cars are easier to spot than dirty ones

4. Placing a spare hi-vis vest in the back window-increasing visibility at the side of the road

5. Stating local landmarks -as this helps local-to-the-area recovery professionals

6. Stating any identifiable vehicle features-such as a roof box or a bike rack

7. Using theStart Rescue app orWhat3Words-to find and report your exact location

Lee Puffett, managing director of Start Rescue, said: "Breakdown recovery apps remain the best way to report a problem, however, motorists who are without cover or don't have mobile or internet service should be aware of the other ways to effectively highlight their location.

"The actions we have highlighted are simple and safe to do and can greatly assist recovery professionals to locate you far faster and especially during the challenging winter months. Besides common winter breakdown advice, such as wearing Hi-Vis vests, standing in a safe location, packing emergency food and carrying blankets, some motorists might forget that some of these actions can be very effective.

"Start Rescue understands that breakdown scenarios are unpleasant and stranded motorists want to spend the shortest possible amount of time at the side of the road. We would like to recommend to motorists that making themselves even more identifiable will hugely aid their rescue."

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