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Road Safety Group Website

As a new Safe Driving report reveals that 63% of motorists haven't read the Highway Code since passing their test, the SURVIVE GROUP (safe use of roadside verges in vehicular emergencies), is warning motorists that knowing what to do when you breakdown on the motorway can be a matter of life or death. 

Formed in 1998 following the death of six roadside recovery technicians, the SURVIVE GROUP promotes safety on Britain's motorways and roads in the event of a breakdown or incident.  The new SURVIVE website has much more practical advice for motorists including summer motoring tips, motorway driving and safe use of the hard shoulder.

A SURVIVE spokesperson comments, "With many motorists taking to the roads this summer to holiday in the UK, we are anticipating record numbers of incidents. We want to educate motorists so they know what to do in the event of a crash or a breakdown and also how to prevent it."

Spokesperson for road safety charity Brake, Katie Shephard, says, "We are urging motorists to conduct essential checks before they set off on journeys this summer.  Our report revealed that seven in ten motorists wait for their annual service to identify problems with brakes and a number of people never check their tyres depth, pressure or water,  16% never check their lights or indicators are working."

Motorists can look for advice and tips on the new web site and interactive blog

Motorway Driving Tips

  • Make sure that your car is well maintained, has sufficient fuel and oil, has correct tyre pressures and tyres are in good condition (including spare).
  • Observe the speed limit.
  • Remember that concentration and frequent use of mirrors are doubly important on motorways because of higher traffic volumes.
  • Take extra care when approaching intersections where traffic is joining the motorway.
  • Obey motorway signals. These warn of dangers ahead, for example an accident, broken down vehicle, poor weather conditions, flooding, slippery road surface etc.

Safe Use of the Hard Shoulder

It is dangerous to stop on a hard shoulder except in an emergency. If an emergency forces you to stop, then follow the top five personal safety tips to stay safe:

  • Pull onto the hard shoulder and park as far left as possible; near an emergency roadside telephone if you can. Turn on your vehicles hazard warning lights.
  • Leave your vehicle immediately via the left hand door. Make sure your passengers do the same. You should leave any animals in the vehicle, or keep them under proper control on the verge.
  • Contact the Highways Agency via the emergency roadside telephone. Always use this in preference to a mobile phone, as your location will be pinpointed on the operator's screen so it will be easier to find you. On the motorways, you will see these spaced at one mile intervals, with roadside marker posts displaying an arrow pointing you in the direction of the nearest phone.
  • Wait well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder for help to arrive. You should never attempt even the simplest of repairs.
  • If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle via the left hand door, fasten your seatbelt and lock all the doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel the risk has passed.

If you have a disability which prevents you from following the above advice, the Highway Code advises that you should stay in the vehicle, switch on your hazard warning lights and display a "help" pennant. If you have a mobile phone you should dial 999 and advise the emergency services of your location.