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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Worst hard shoulder excuses: Motorist calls for quotes as insurance is up

    Whenever we travel, we put ourselves at risk of experiencing a road traffic accident. Whether due to careless driving, human error or an untimely lapse in concentration, accidents on the road are a real danger that all drivers face every time they take to the roads.

    With this in mind, it is essential that drivers do all they can to minimise the risk road accidents. Following simple laws – such as using the hard shoulder only in an emergency – doesn’t seem to be viewed as integral by all.

    Causes of motorway accidents: Hard shoulder misuse

    Earlier this year, The Highways Agency reported that in the three months between June and September 2013, 2,062 drivers stopped on the hard shoulder.

    Of course, a large percentage of the hard shoulder stops were legitimate emergencies, however, The Highways Agency have found that some drivers are increasing the chances of accidents on the motorway by using the hard shoulder illegally.

    Amidst the drivers who use the hard shoulder illegally, The Highways Agency has stated some shocking excuses that drivers provided for their stops. These included picking flowers, taking photographs of grandchildren and taking a nap. One of the most bizarre reasons was a motorist stopping to obtain car insurance quotes.

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    It goes without saying, these are not acceptable reasons for using the hard shoulder and undoubtedly increase the risk of accidents on the road.

    Using the hard shoulder correctly

    In response to the recent findings, Jamie Hassall, Highways Agency national enforcement co-ordinator, said: “Every day, millions of people use our motorways. Most of them use the hard shoulder correctly and don’t ignore red Xs, but we are appealing to the few who put themselves, other road users, and those working on motorways, at risk.

    “Where the hard shoulder is used as an additional traffic lane at peak times, you can only drive on it if there is a speed limit over it. When a red X is displayed over any lane, it’s simple – don’t drive on it.”

    It was in May 2013 that the BBC published a report stating that, since 2000, over 800 people have been killed or seriously injured on the hard shoulder.

    This considered, it could be argued that the £60 fine and licence points that the offence carries is not harsh enough on drivers who choose to use the hard shoulder illegally and cause motorway accidents.

    Claiming for your road traffic accident

    Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500, for a free initial consultation regarding your road traffic accident, with no obligation to pursue your claim.

    Date Published: September 30, 2014

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.