How to Deal With a Puncture on the Motorway?

Running over sharp debris at high speeds is one of the hazards that affect all motorway drivers. However, even at slower speeds when traffic is heavier, your tyres may come under more strain on the motorway. This is because motorway networks are built for long-distance motoring and, therefore, inadequate or slightly over-inflated tyres can be more prone to bursting than they would on normal roads.

The best thing to do to protect yourself is to buy the best tyres for your car you can. For instance, you can experience a smoother ride and better efficiency with high-performance car tyres in Stevenage available at EcoTyre Services. That said, there’s never a guarantee you won’t suffer from a motorway puncture. What should you do if one occurs?

smart motorways
Be wary of smart motorways with the hard shoulder in use as a lane

Stay Calm

Panicking never helps when you have a tyre problem. If you suffer a loss of inflation, then your car will soon start to handle strangely. When tyres begin to deflate from a puncture – or if you suffer a complete blowout – there will also be a noise from the road that the wheel generates.

Firstly, ease off the accelerator to gain more traction and control. Don’t apply the brake if possible. If you do need it, then dab it slowly. Turn on your hazard warning lights. Try not to fight the wheel. Use gentle control to keep the car in its lane.

What to do if you breakdown on a motorway

  • Try to get off the motorway at nearest exit or pull over on hard shoulder or emergency area
  • Turn on your lights and hazard lights
  • Wait in a safe place (out of the car behind the barrier)
  • Make yourself visible (Hi-Vis vest if you have one)
  • Report your breakdown and get help

What to do if you breakdown on a smart motorway

If you break down on a smart motorway, the hard shoulder may be in use as a lane. It’s safest to leave at the next junction or service area if you can. If that’s not possible, put on your hazards and honk the horn as you move left onto the hard shoulder or nearest emergency area and leave the car via the passenger side and go over the safety barrier.

rescue worker collects broken down car on motorway
Always look for a safe place to pull over where possible and wait for assistance

Manoeuvre to the Hard Shoulder

Next, you need to get to somewhere you can halt the car safely. If there is a slip road you can turn onto, do so. If not, the hard shoulder is your next best option. In the case of a smart motorway or where no hard shoulder exists, move into the left-hand lane and try to continue until you find a refuge point which should be clearly marked.

Once you have stopped your car in a safe spot stay inside as much as possible to avoid flying debris. Use the roadside emergency phones or, better still, your mobile, once the engine is off, to call for help.

the AA recovery vehicle
Being a member of the AA or RAC gives you breakdown recovery assistance

Seek Assistance

Even if you have a spare tyre onboard with you, it is always preferable to seek professional help. Jacking a car up and removing a shredded tyre is hard work and you may not have enough room to do this at the roadside while trucks whizz past you. Emergency recovery specialists are trained to do this work professionally and may tow you until a safer spot can be reached to do the necessary work.

In conclusion, choosing high-quality tyres should be your first priority. And if a motorway puncture occurs, remaining composed, manoeuvring to the hard shoulder, and seeking professional assistance are crucial steps to ensure safety and effective resolution.