Following a reported very near miss yesterday for one of engineers, we wanted to share some advice with our readers with regards to wrong fuel issues and motorways. We get a few incidents every month involving motorists who have accidentally filled up with the wrong fuel at a motorway service station. Some don’t even get off the forecourt before the car or van grinds to a halt, but some manage to either get onto the slip road or even on to the motorway itself before everything starts to go wrong. We have had a couple of cases where the vehicle has conked out in the slow lane of the motorway which, as you would imagine, is terribly dangerous for the driver and other motorists already on the motorway. In this case we would recommend calling the emergency services to let them know about the hazard, particularly if the traffic is heavy and the vehicle is causing bad congestion which can happen very quickly. Even if you are able to get the car moved onto the hard shoulder, this is a very risky thing to try given the speed of vehicles on the motorway and the fact that the slow lane is usually occupied by trucks!
This particular wrong fuel emergency involved a car that had luckily made it onto the hard shoulder. The motorist had done the right thing in getting out of the car and was waiting for us on the grass verge. Unfortunately, in their haste to get out of the vehicle, the motorist forgot to put on the vehicle hazard warning lights and it was starting to get dark. Just after the customer called us, a container truck came careering towards the hard shoulder after one of its tyres had blown out. The truck driver didn’t see the car until the last moment and took the wing mirror clean off! No other damage done though, and thankfully no-one was hurt just a little shocked. Our engineer arrived a short while later to help sort everything out. Our customer was very lucky to get away with such minor vehicle damage and the truck driver had his driving skills well and truly tested (well done to him by the way!)
It’s a stressful situation as we are well aware but if you are ever in a similar wrong fuel predicament or your car has just broken down for some other reason, please do remember to consider other motorists. If it’s dark or getting dark and your vehicle is on the motorway, the hard shoulder or any public road where it may cause a potential hazard, always switch on your hazard warning lights!