Motorway driving in your motorhome or campervan

We all know that driving on a motorway is very different to driving on most other roads, and so we wanted to give you some top tips to help you avoid as many problems as you can.

We wanted to give you some advice to help you avoid as many problems as you can. We know that you will probably know the vast majority of what is written below, but it’s always worth refreshing your knowledge where safety is concerned.

If you get into trouble on a motorway in the UK,  the main message is GO LEFT to exit at the next junction, motorway service area or emergency area.

  • Having a problem on a motorway can be very upsetting but do try to stay calm.
  • Put your indicators on, move into the left lane if you are not already in that lane.
  • Enter the next emergency area or hard shoulder (where there is one) leaving space so that you can get out of your vehicle from the side furthest from the traffic. 
  • Put your hazard lights on even during the day. If it's dark use side lights and in poor visibility use fog lights.
  • Exit the vehicle, taking (if you can) your mobile, any available hi-vis clothing, drink and any medication you need. Do not attempt to retrieve luggage etc. Where possible, avoid exiting the vehicle on the traffic side.
  • Get behind the safety barrier if there is one. If not, keep as far away from moving traffic as possible. 
  • Call National Highways on 0300 123 5000, then call your breakdown provider for help. Our Club members who use our MAYDAY UK Breakdown Cover can be reassured that roadside assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It won’t always be possible to move across lanes and get on to the hard shoulder or into an emergency area, and you may even find you have stopped in a 'live' traffic lane with moving traffic to either side of you. Do remember that a vehicle travelling at 70mph covers 100 yards in under three seconds. With this in mind, National Highways strongly recommend that you:

  • Stay in your vehicle with your seat belts on.
  • Put your hazard warning lights on.
  • Call 999 immediately.
  • If you have an SOS button in your vehicle then press it.
  • Stay put until the police or National Highways personnel arrive to ensure your safe passage off the motorway.

If you get going again, returning to the motorway can be a bit of a challenge. When rejoining from the hard shoulder, National Highways advises you to "build up speed, use your indicators and watch for a gap in the traffic to re-join the carriageway safely. Be aware that other vehicles may be stationary on the hard shoulder or in a lay-by ahead of you."

If leaving an emergency area, let National Highways know first as they can usually temporarily close lane one to let you rejoin the carriageway and to warn other drivers.

It's better to be cautious in advance of setting off on your trip, so always check your outfit over thoroughly before you leave home. Never ignore any warning lights and make sure that any issues are fixed before you set off. Make sure you have the right level of cover should you be involved in an accident and that your cover is up to date and suitable to your plans. and the right phone numbers to help you if you do have an accident or a breakdown.

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