1.9m 'risked lives on motorway'

Some 1.9 million drivers and passengers have risked their lives in the past year by sitting in their cars on the motorway hard shoulder after their vehicle had broken down, according to research.

People who remain seated in their vehicles at the side of the motorway while waiting for help are at risk of being in a high speed collision if an accident happens on the carriageway.

The research - carried out by Vision Critical - found that more than 3.5 million people have experienced a motorway breakdown in the last year alone.

Many of these people will have madebreakdown cover claims.

Government Highways Agency guidance recommends that, if a vehicle has to stop on the hard shoulder, the occupants should leave the car immediately through the passenger doors on the left hand side.

But, according to the research, more than half (54%) of the occupants stayed inside their car, and more than one tenth (12%) wrongly thought official guidance told them to do so.

Another fifth (20%) of people failed to exit the vehicle due to poor weather conditions, and 15% wanted to keep comfy in their seats.

Copyright Press Association 2012