Staying safe on the hard shoulder


The hard shoulder of a motorway can be a very dangerous place. Many people are injured or even killed needlessly every year after stopping on the hard shoulder for reasons which were totally inappropriate. Some people still seem to think that it is just a handy parking spot next to the motorway! The hard shoulder has a specific purpose, and knowing when you can use it and how you should use it, is important if you want to stay safe.


What the hard shoulder is not for

Never use the hard shoulder for making calls on your mobile, going to toilet or having a snack! If you need to do any of these things then make your way to the nearest motorway services or exit to do it. You must only use it if you are directed to do so, have some kind of emergency, you break down, or you are directed to stop by the police.

If you are in a traffic jam and close to your exit on the motorway, do not use the hard shoulder as a short cut. Only emergency vehicles and motorway maintenance vehicles are allowed to drive on the hard shoulder. If there is a traffic queue because of an accident and your vehicle is on the hard shoulder, you could prevent an ambulance from getting to the scene.

Break downs and emergencies

If you pull on to the hard shoulder because you have an emergency or you've broken down, keep your vehicle as far to the left as possible and put your hazard lights on. Bear in mind that there may be debris lying around that could puncture your tyres.

Get out of your vehicle on the left hand side if you can. If you have to get out on the right hand side be extremely careful as you will be close to fast moving traffic. Once you are out of the vehicle get some distance the other side of the crash barrier and either walk to the nearest emergency phone or use your mobile to call for assistance.

Using a roadside emergency phone is actually preferable to using a mobile because the traffic control centre will know exactly where you are, and it will make it easier for them to direct the recovery or roadside assistance vehicles to the right place.

If you are a woman and feel vulnerable or threatened in any way, you should stay in your car, lock the doors and call the police on your mobile phone. Try to describe your location to them as best you can, and they will send a police patrol vehicle. If the threat goes away, you should leave the vehicle and get behind the crash barrier.

Don't accept lifts from strangers, no matter how genuine they may appear to be.

Don't be tempted to start doing any repairs to your vehicle on the hard shoulder, it is too dangerous. Stay behind the barrier and call for assistance.

If you are able to rejoin the motorway, you can build up your speed on the hard shoulder before indicating and safely merging with the traffic.

If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, we can help you get a replacement vehicle, car repairs, legal assistance and injury compensation. Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 , and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.


No need to claim on your insurance

Anyone who has been involved in a road accident has the right to choose who repairs their vehicle. If you were responsible for the accident you were involved in, the company that insures your vehicle would normally deal with your accident claim.

However if you were not at-fault for the accident, you can choose to either claim on your own insurance policy or make a claim independently of your insurer. To find out more call 02392 484 244 and we will be happy to help.

We and our partners help thousands of people make independent accident claims. Our service enables motorists to get the help and assistance they need to resolve their accident related issues, with the costs being recovered directly from the at-fault driver on your behalf.

No excess to pay

Unfortunately even if an accident was not your fault, your insurer will almost certainly require you to pay your excess before any repair is started on your car.

This money should of course be recovered by an insurer at a later date, but with our service - you do not have to pay it at all.

By using our independent claims service, you are not making a claim on your insurance policy and so you will have no excess to pay.

Receive a like-for-like replacement hire vehicle

Not all insurance policies will include a replacement hire-car for you to use if yours is damaged and unroadworthy. In fact it is typically an 'optional extra' on your policy.

Other policies may offer a 'courtesy car' but this is often just a 'basic' saloon or hatchback which may not be suitable for your needs.

Car Call and its partners will provide a like-for-like replacement vehicle as part of our service. This means we will endeavour to supply a hire-vehicle that similar to your own in terms of its type, make and engine size.

So whether you drive a small hatchback or a prestige sports car, we will look to provide a similar hire-vehicle that suits your needs.

Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs

If you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to have to worry about is the quality of the repairs to your car. We have a UK wide network of partner approved Accident Repair Centres available to all of our customers.

Many of our accident repair centres are have manufacturer approvals for specific brands, so if you require a manufacturer approved repair centre, simply tell your personal claim handler and they will ensure your vehicle goes to an approved repairer.

Want you vehicle repaired by a specific garage? No problem, we can alternatively use a repairer that you specify.

Legal Assistance

Our partner solicitors provide legal assistance as part of our service. They specialise in motor claims related issues, so you can be assured of the best possible advice and assistance.

They issues they can assist you with include:

  • Recovery of the cost of the replacement hire-vehicle
  • Recovery of the cost of uplifting your damaged vehicle
  • Recovery of all repair costs
  • Recovery of the cost of damaged of personal items
  • Seeking financial compensation for an injury