What to do if you break down
- Find an emergency breakdown area/bay.
- Park the vehicle as far to the left-hand side as possible.
- Activate your hazard lights.
- Activate your parking lights if it is dark, raining or foggy.
- Leave the vehicle if it is safe to do so. When exiting the vehicle, ensure that you:
- check for traffic
- leave from the passenger side if possible
- take your passengers with you
- stand clear of the road and behind the roadside barrier (if safe to do so).
- If you remain in the vehicle, seat-belts should be fastened and, where possible, sit in the seats furthest from traffic.
- Call for assistance on your mobile phone, or use a road side emergency phone if available.
- Avoid crossing the road.
- Do not work on the vehicle yourself – wait for roadside assistance.
- Follow roadside assistance instructions.
- In tunnels ensure you have your radio switched on – you will be given directions on what to do.
If you see a breakdown
- Slow down to well below the speed limit.
- Change lanes if it is safe to do so to provide the broken down vehicle more room.
- If you are forced to stop because of a breakdown or another emergency, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users.
To avoid being stuck on the roadside
- Check your fuel, oil, water and tyre pressures (including the spare tyre) before a long journey.
- Plan your route – the RACQ Trip Planner at racq.com/tripplanner can help with this.
- Check the traffic conditions and road closures – contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on 13 19 40 or visit 131940.qld.gov.au
- Be prepared for wild weather and always drive to the conditions. Visit tmr.qld.gov.au/greenlighttogo for tips to help you prepare.
- Have at least a 15-minute break for every two hours of driving.
- Have a high-visibility vest and a torch in the boot as they will be useful if you have to make yourself visible.
- It may be better to drive slowly on a flat tyre until you find a safer place to pull over, even if it damages your wheel, rather than stopping immediately on the shoulder of a road.
What not to do
We recommend motorists do not stop on the shoulder of a high-speed road for non-essential reasons such as:
- using a mobile phone
- going to the toilet
- attending to children
- checking maps/entering GPS settings
- exercising pets
- stretching legs/getting fresh air
If you need to stop look for somewhere safe, away from the flow of fast moving traffic such as a side road or car-park.
Remember at road works
- We reduce speeds for a reason
- You are driving through someone’s workplace
- We want everyone to get home safe.
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