Checks avoid

breakdowns, says GEM

Motorway driving

ROAD safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging motorists to ensure they check batteries, tyres and fuel levels before driving on the motorway.

Basic checks would help reduce the large number of avoidable and costly motorway breakdowns that occur on motorways every day, according to GEM.

GEM road safety adviser James Luckhurst said: "Breaking down on the motorway - or experiencing an emergency situation - can be frightening, especially if you're not sure on what action to take.

"A breakdown is always going to be a high-risk situation, for you, your passengers and the professionals who come out to rescue and recover your car.

"There are ways of reducing risk if you find yourself in difficulty. But it's important to know that most motorway breakdowns could be prevented by ensuring vehicles are well maintained and with plenty of fuel.

"So we urge drivers to check batteries, tyres and fuel levels on a regular basis - and before any long journey."

GEM's tips support the road safety advice issued by National Highways:

1. If your car is malfunctioning, aim to leave the motorway at the next junction or services. If this isn't possible, move left into the hard shoulder or the nearest emergency area.

2. Put your hazard lights on.

3. If you can, get out of the vehicle via the passenger door. Move behind the safety barrier where there is one and go on to the verge if it's safe.

4. Don't attempt any repairs to your vehicle, and don't put out a warning triangle.

5. Call National Highways on 0300 123 5000; then a breakdown provider for help.

If you cannot do the above, or in an emergency, stay in your vehicle, keep seatbelts and hazard lights on. Call 999 immediately.

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