Dangers of Stopping in Emergency Lanes


Emergency lanes are provided for vehicles that have broken down and to give access to emergency services. However, emergency lanes are the most dangerous place on the motorway. The estimated life expectancy when stopped there can be less than 20 minutes. The gases industry has reported multiple severe accidents with vehicles or persons that were impacted while standing in emergency lanes.


This Safety Information, issued by the European Industrial Gases Association, is focused on raising awareness of the risks of stopping in emergency lanes. While the focus is on heavy goods vehicles for the transport of dangerous goods travelling on motorways, the guidance given in this publication may also apply to other types of vehicles on other types of roads.

The document poses the following questions:

  • Are your drivers and other transport function personnel aware of the risks associated with stopping in emergency lanes?

  • Do you raise awareness of the risks associated with stopping in emergency lanes included in your driver training programme?

  • Do your drivers have precise instructions on what to do and what not to do if they are forced to stop in an emergency lane?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then action must be taken. The information sheet covers:

  • Severity of incidents.

  • If a vehicle breaks down and cannot be driven off the motorway.

  • If a vehicle breaks down and cannot be driven into an emergency lane.

It is available here. Contact STN if you are not a subscriber.


European Industrial Gases Association November 2021



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