What would you do?

untitledThis is a photograph of a motorhome that was broken down on the hard-shoulder of the motorway after a lorry had ploughed into the back of it. It belonged to a dog exhibitor; four dogs were killed and one person seriously injured. Seven dogs and two people miraculously survived relatively unscathed. Initial reports were obviously unclear and a lot of supposition occurred but one thing does seem to have come out of it. The unfortunate people involved just didn’t follow accepted procedure for breaking down on a major road. Thing is though how many now would actually do anything different from what those passengers did?

All motorways have emergency phones but if it is a choice of using one of those or sitting in the warm vehicle which would you do? Thing is though those phones are there for a reason because they are the only way the police will know of problems on the road unless you ring them direct on the mobile. As things stand breakdown agencies aren’t under any obligation to tell the police and they don’t monitor Facebook/Twitter/My Space or any other social media site.

The motorhome, a 28 feet tag axle, was a lot bigger vehicle than most people drive but have you got a procedure in place for breakdowns? Do you know what to do or do you just think you know and hope it’ll never happen? First rule of thumb is get out of the car. Leave the dogs in it until you have actually got out, over the crash barrier (or away from the road) and assessed the situation. Where can you stand with dogs? Are you fit enough to scramble up a banking? Can you scramble up the banking with the dogs? Have a look at things first, decide what’s safest and then deal with the dogs. You are far more important than they are!

3 thoughts on “What would you do?

  1. Rich had a blow out in the fast lane of the motorway driving to Scotland on his own. He got to the hard shoulder, grabbed his coat out of the car and sat up the steap embankment for four hours waiting for help to arrive. Did the same when I was with him travelling from Mums back to Luton. Heard of too many cars getting hit when on the hard shoulder to dare to sit in the car.

    The dogs are on dog seatbelts on the back and leads always on so easy to get out from either side of the car in seconds.

    Was horrified when I saw this playing out on Facebook on Saturday Morning. Spent most of sat morning reading the updates in tears. Carries interview is heartbreaking. Hope Lisa, Carrie and Twinkie are back to full fitness soon. Glad that someone has started a collection for all three of them to help with the vets fees and other unexpected costs too. Its getting an amazing responce.

    Think everyone who travels with dogs should check their recovery policies to make sure they are covered.. Had three friends cancel their RAC
    Membership already this week.

  2. Firstly my heart goes out to these ladies very very tragic. My husband is a HGV driver and there is no way on earth I stay in the vehicle. I would have put my dogs as far up the embankment as possible covered them with blankets and huddled with in the cold. But in this case the RAC knew the size of the vehicle from the registration number so should have been more forthcoming with times

  3. I’ve sat at the side of the M1 waiting three hours for the RAC after a blowout. All I needed was a longer wheelbrace as the nuts were stuck tight. Managed to limp the car to near a barrier by a phone so I could be the other side with Mum in her wheelchair. Cold, raining and we wrapped up in the emergency blankets I always have cluttering up the car..
    It is amazing that anyone – human or canine survived the crash above but if they had been waiting up the bank they would probably have set up where the motorhome’s cab eneded up & it may have been more tragic.
    I wish them all a speedy recovery.

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