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Safely Exiting a Vehicle on Public Roads: Essential Tips for Irish Road Users

By January 9, 2024 January 23rd, 2024 No Comments
road safety ireland

Safely Exiting a Vehicle on Public Roads: Essential Tips for Irish Road Users

Hazard Lighting

When pulling over or stopping on a public road, our first advice is to always activate your vehicle hazard lights. Hazard lights alert other drivers that you are in a potentially hazardous situation, reducing the risk of collision. Make sure your hazard lights are functioning correctly and use them before exiting your vehicle.

Personal Visibility

Enhance your personal visibility by wearing reflective vests or jackets, especially when exiting your vehicle at night or in low-light conditions. This will make you more visible to other drivers, reducing the chance of accidents. Keep a high-vis jacket in your work vehicle. Use reflective tape on your work gear and equipment for added visibility where possible.

Safe Location

Choose a safe location to pull over or exit your vehicle. Whenever possible, find a designated parking area, layby, or rest stop. If you must stop on the shoulder of the road, ensure it is wide enough and provides ample space for you and your vehicle. If you must exit your vehicle on the road, do so from the side away from traffic, preferably the passenger side.

Traffic Awareness

Before exiting your vehicle, check your mirrors and look over your shoulder to assess the traffic around you. Ensure there are no approaching vehicles, and be mindful of any pedestrians or cyclists in the vicinity.

Emergency Vehicle Kit

Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. This kit should include items such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, warning triangle, and a high-visibility vest. Having these essentials can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency. In the case of an emergency, deploy warning devices like reflective triangles to warn oncoming traffic and help keep yourself safe.


Inform someone you trust about your situation, especially if you are experiencing car trouble or require assistance. Share your location and estimated arrival time to ensure that someone is aware of your whereabouts. Call rescue vehicles for assistance where required. 

Training and Education

Invest in training and education for yourself and your employees if you operate a business with a fleet of vehicles. Proper training on vehicle safety and emergency procedures can make a significant difference in handling critical situations.

Alighting on Motorways

Exiting a vehicle on a motorway is particularly dangerous due to high-speed traffic. If you must exit your vehicle on a motorway, pull over to the hard shoulder, activate hazard lights, and ensure all occupants exit the vehicle from the passenger side, away from traffic. Keep a safe distance from your vehicle. If you must exit the vehicle on the motorway, stay behind the crash barrier.

Emergency Services

If your vehicle is damaged or you are in a precarious situation, call emergency services immediately. They can provide assistance and ensure your safety while you wait for help.

Use your mobile phone to call for assistance, providing them with your precise location, including the motorway number and your direction of travel.

Vehicle Recovery and Waiting for Help

In the event of a breakdown or accident, it’s essential to wait for professional assistance, especially on busy roads. Stay inside your vehicle if it is safe to do so, and keep your hazard lights on. Use your phone to communicate with emergency services or a recovery service.

At Salutem Advice, we prioritise safety and responsible practices for all businesses across Ireland. Safely exiting a vehicle on public roads is a fundamental skill that can save lives and prevent accidents. By following these essential tips and being prepared for unexpected situations, you can contribute to a safer and more responsible road environment for everyone. Stay safe, stay visible, and always prioritise your well-being when exiting a vehicle on public roads.