Police have released a terrifying picture of the aftermath of a collision involving a broken-down car and an articulated lorry.
Officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police tweeted the graphic image of the mangled car along with a warning that drivers should never stay in a broken-down vehicle.
The collision happened on Monday afternoon when an HGV ploughed into the back of the stranded car on the side of the A421 dual carriageway.
The HGV driver said he “hadn’t seen” the car stopped in lane one and officers revealed he had been reported for driving without due care and attention.
Police said: “Luckily the driver was out of the vehicle but has still been hit by the car sustaining minor injuries.
“Goes to show the importance of getting out of your vehicle when broken down.”
What to do if you break down on a motorway
The Highway Code states that if your car develops a problem you should leave the motorway at the next exit or use the nearest service area.
However, if you can’t do this, the advice is to pull onto the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned away from the road.
Put on your hazard lights. If it’s dark, also put on your side lights, and if it’s foggy use the fog lights as well.
You and all passengers should exit the vehicle by the left-hand doors to avoid stepping towards traffic. The Highway Code advises that pets are left in the cars unless it is an emergency.
Get behind the roadside barrier and as far away from the road and car as possible.
Do not try to put out a warning triangle.
Call a breakdown recovery service. If you don’t have a mobile phone walk to the nearest emergency phone. There will be arrows on the bollards next to the road pointing to the nearest one. Always face the traffic while using the phone. Give as many details as you can, including your location and whether there are any vulnerable travellers such as children or people with disabilities.
Return to your vehicle’s location to wait for rescue but stay as far away from it and the road as possible.
A421 Bedford. Vehicle broken down in lane 1 has been hit by a HGV who “didn’t see it” 🤷♂️ Luckily the driver was out of the vehicle but has still been hit by the car sustaining minor injuries. Goes to show the importance of getting out of your vehicle when broken down 2003/2431 pic.twitter.com/7NXQ6qHAqC
— BCH Road Policing (@roadpoliceBCH) February 11, 2019
If you break down away from a motorway, most of the same rules apply. If you can’t make your way to an exit from the main road try to pull off the carriageway and activate your hazard lights. If it is safe to do so, you should put out a warning triangle at least 45 metres behind your vehicle.