Police issue warning after this smash involving broken down car on smart motorway in West Yorkshire

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West Yorkshire Police have issued a warning to motorists after this smash happened on a smart motorway.

The incident involved a broken down car which was stranded in the first lane and another vehicle which then smashed into the back of it.

The crash happened on the M1 southbound at Junction 40 (Ossett).

Another car drove into the back of the parked car at high speed, and this was the result.

Unlike regular motorways, smart motorways like parts of the M1 do not have a hard shoulder. That means that when a car stops in a live running lane, the lane then has to be closed to traffic.

A spokesman for the force said: "M1 south jct 40 Ossett. A vehicle had broken down & was stranded in lane one.

The smash on the M1 smart motorway

The smash on the M1 smart motorway

"Look well ahead as this other vehicle didn’t look & collided with the stranded vehicle. Be extra careful when there isn’t a hard shoulder available #team2"

So what should you do if you break down on a smart motorway?

In an emergency, according to official government advice:

- Prevention is better than cure: keep your car well maintained, check your tyres and make sure you have enough fuel for your journey. All motorists should be able to make their own recovery arrangements in the event of a breakdown. We advise that you have breakdown cover and carry details of this with you.

The smash on the M1 smart motorway

The smash on the M1 smart motorway

-Always try to exit the smart motorway immediately if your vehicle is damaged or experiences difficulties. If that’s not possible, move into the nearest place of relative safety.

-On most motorways this will be the hard shoulder. But on a smart motorway there may not always be a hard shoulder, or the hard shoulder may be open to traffic.

-In these cases you’ll see emergency refuge areas (ERA) spaced regularly along the motorway. Make your way to the nearest one.

You should follow these steps:

-Use an emergency refuge area if you are able to reach one safely. These are marked with blue signs featuring an orange SOS telephone symbol on them.

-If you can leave your vehicle safely, contact Highways England via the roadside emergency telephone provided in all emergency refuge areas. We will either send a traffic officer to help you, or set the motorway signs to temporarily clear lane 1 to assist you to rejoin the motorway.

-If you cannot get to an emergency refuge area but the vehicle can be driven, move it to the hard shoulder (where provided) or as close to the nearside verge or other nearside boundary as possible.

-In all cases, switch on your hazard warning lights.

-If you stop in the nearside lane next to a hard shoulder or verge and feel you are able to exit safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via the nearside (left hand) door, and wait behind the safety barrier, if there is one and safe to do so.

-If it is not possible to get out of your vehicle safely, or there is no other place of relative safety to wait then you should stay in your vehicle with your seat belt on and dial ‘999’ if you have access to a working mobile phone.

-Once the regional traffic control centre is aware of your situation, via the police or roadside technology such as CCTV, they can use the smart motorway technology to set overhead signs and close the lane to help keep traffic away from you. They will also send a traffic officer or the police to help you.