Most of the time, if there is an obstruction on the road, temporary road signs will warn motorists of its presence, or drivers will see the obstruction and safely navigate around it.
However, even as experienced car insurance policyholders, road users might not be aware of what to do if they create the obstruction.
If a vehicle breaks down, the Highway Code states that, if possible, the driver should try and get their car off the road. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the breakdown, he or she may not be able to do this.
If the car is stuck in the road, then the driver should turn on their hazard warning lights so that other motorists notice the vehicle and can take the appropriate actions to avoid colliding with it.
As long as the driver is not broken down on a motorway, they may also choose to set up a warning triangle on the road, a minimum of 45 metres behind their vehicle. Great care must be taken when placing and retrieving a warning triangle.
Under no circumstances should the driver, or anyone else, stand between the broken down vehicle and on-coming traffic – even when he or she does not have a warning triangle available to them.
Hopefully, when a driver has to carry items on a roof rack, or has any other items attached to their car, they will have fastened them so that they do not come undone during their journey.
Nevertheless, it is important to know what to do should something become detached from a vehicle.
The Highway Code states that if anything falls from a driver’s vehicle, they should only attempt to retrieve it if it is safe to do so. Furthermore, they should stop their car in a safe location before leaving it to retrieve an item.
If they have lost items from their vehicle on the motorway, driver and passengers should not attempt to recover them. The Code states they should “stop at the next emergency telephone and call the Highways Agency or the police”.
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