Motoring campaigners are warning there could be an increased risk of serious road traffic accidents if proposed changes to the M1 motorway go ahead.
The removal of the hard shoulder on a section of the road could put drivers’ lives at risk, so says the Association of British Drivers (ABD).
When coupled with the absence of a spare wheel in many vehicles the lack of a hard shoulder represents a dangerous proposition, it warned.
The organisation points out that many modern cars come with a can of liquid puncture sealant in place of an actual spare tyre and this means a tyre could easily become shredded without the use of a hard shoulder.
Tyre sealant will not be effective when used on a shredded tyre – so the fear is that the car crash risk is unduly high when motorists have nowhere to pull in.
Accident claims to rise?
Given the safety implications, motorists and policymakers alike may be looking again at the proposed changes.
Any motorists seeking help with accident claims following a car accident on the motorway can contact national law firm Accident Advice Helpline for assistance with their case.
The ABD has spoken out as the Highways Agency is currently considering the options for the M1 between junctions 28 and 35A, one of which includes bringing the speed limit down to 60mph to cut emissions pollution.
If that plan is put into action, then the hard shoulder would be used as an extra lane to ease congestion.
Drivers ‘left with no refuge’
“At motorway speeds, drivers need to be able to pull over as soon as possible in the event of a puncture to prevent the tyre shredding and possibly losing control of the car,” said ABD spokesman Hugh Bladon.
The lack of a usable hard shoulder on “smart motorways” leaves drivers with no choice but to continue until the next point of refuge, he continued.
“If the Government is determined to do away with the hard shoulder on motorways then it must do more to ensure drivers safety by ensuring car manufacturers provide, at the very least, a space-saver spare tyre, and a full-size spare wheel as an option,” he added.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident that was not your fault then call Accident Advice Helpline free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation advice about making a claim.
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Date Published: January 16, 2014
Author: David Brown