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
  • eating/drinking
  • resting.
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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