Be safe when changing a wheel at the roadside

Making a good job of changing a tyre comes from experience and familiarity with the equipment and processes, however we should consult our car owner’s manual to ensure who to use the equipment carried, the locking wheel nut if appropriate, and where to attach the lifting jack.

Safety tips for dealing with a flat tyre at the roadside include:

Switch on your hazard warning lights.

Make sure the ground is level and secure before jacking your vehicle.

If it’s safe, place a warning triangle to alert other drivers to the hazard your vehicle might be causing.

Check at least one of the other wheels.

Follow the steps laid out for your vehicle in the owners handbook.

Don’t attempt to change a tyre (or carry out any other repair, however simple) on a motorway hard shoulder. Always call for professional breakdown assistance.

2017-12017-2

WHAT DOES THE LATEST 2015 UPDATED HIGHWAY CODE SAY ABOUT CHANGING A TYRE?

RULE 274

If you vehicle breaks down, think of all other road users and

  • get your vehicle off the road if possible
  • warn other traffic by using your hazard warning lights if your vehicle is causing an obstruction
  • help other road users see you by wearing light-coloured of fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing at night or in poor visibility
  • put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways
  • if possible, keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor
  • do not stand (or let anybody else stand) between your vehicle and oncoming traffic
  • at night or in poor visibility do not stand where you will prevent other road users seeing your lights.

RULE 275

If your vehicle develops a problem, leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a service area. If you cannot do so, you should:

  • pull on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned to the left
  • try to stop near an emergency telephone (situated at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder)
  • leave the vehicle by the left-hand and ensure your passengers do the same. You MUST leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway
  • do not put yourself in danger by attempting even simple repairs
  • ensure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder, and that children are kept under control
  • walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway (follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder) – the telephone is free of charge and connects directly to an operator. Use these in preference to a mobile phone. Always face the traffic when you speak on the phone.
  • give full details to the operator; also inform them if you are a vulnerable motorist such as disabled, older or travelling alone
  • return and wait near your vehicle (well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder)
  • if you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle by a left-hand door and lock all doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel this danger has passed.

RULE 276

Before you rejoin the carriageway after a breakdown, build up speed on the hard shoulder and watch for a safe gap in the traffic. Be aware that other vehicles may be stationery on the hard shoulder.

 

RULE 277

If you cannot get your vehicle onto the hard shoulder

  • do not attempt to place any warning device on the carriageway
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • leave your vehicle only when you can safely get clear of the carriageway

RULE 278

Disabled drivers. If you have a disability which prevents you from following the above advice you should

  • stay in your vehicle
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • display a ‘Help’ pennant or, if you have a car or mobile telephone, contact the emergency services and be prepared to advise them of your location.

 

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