'Big increase' in motorway breakdowns expected
Drivers are being urged to carry out basic maintenance on their cars amid an expected surge in motorway breakdowns.
Tyre pressure, oil and water levels, fuel and lights should all be checked before setting off, Highways England said.
New figures published by the Government-owned company show more than 48,500 breakdowns were reported between the final week of June and the first weekend of September in 2018.
An extra 700 breakdowns a week are expected over the next 10 weeks compared with the rest of the year as many drivers embark on day trips and holidays.
Around a quarter of summer breakdowns are caused by punctures or other tyre issues.
Vehicles running out of fuel and engines overheating are also common causes for drivers needing assistance on motorways.
Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, which is responsible for England's motorways and major A-roads, said: "We want everyone to get to their destination safely and we can all play a part in that.
"Highways England has done a lot of work to ease congestion on our motorways and make them safer, and our traffic officers are there to help get things moving if there's a problem. But you should also make sure you know what to do if your vehicle does break down.
"We're expecting to see a big increase in breakdowns over the next few weeks as drivers set out on longer journeys during the summer.
"So, we're urging drivers to remember the basics of motorway driving, including carrying out simple vehicle checks before setting off, to help keep us all moving."
Highways England advised that drivers who do suffer a breakdown and cannot leave the motorway should stop on the hard shoulder or in an emergency area, get out on the left side of their vehicle and stand behind the barrier before calling for assistance.
Anyone who breaks down in moving traffic and cannot leave their car should dial 999.