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Truck failure is a troublesome event for any driver, so it is important to know how to deal with emergencies in a particular country. Nowadays, when due to the coronavirus pandemic, the smooth flow of necessary goods is of particular importance – quick help and information on what to do to obtain help immediately is crucial.

Each country has different rules and protocols for traffic incidents, so drivers performing international transport may feel lost if they have a truck breakdown outside their home country. Therefore, it is worth knowing the regulations applicable to such situations, which must be observed in a given country.

For example, in the Netherlands, the Rijkswaterstaat (i.e. the Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management responsible for inter alia, road safety), assesses the situation by means of surveillance cameras or from on-road vehicles and calls for roadside assistance if necessary. In France on the other hand, drivers (not fleet dispatchers), have to press the SOS button themselves to notify the road authorities of the breakdown. Only if the SOS button does not work can the driver call the police directly. The fleet dispatcher cannot notify the motorway safety services of a breakdown. In Sweden, on certain European routes (E4, E16, E18, E20), a special TMA vehicle must be called in order to secure a broken vehicle.

This and other information on tyre failure regulations in 24 European countries were collected by tyre manufacturer Continental. This summary shows how and when drivers or fleet dispatchers should involve third parties and the police, who should report what are the restrictions on tyre-fitting, etc.

Initially, we developed emergency response regulations for our employees operating the Conti360° service so that they can advise on protocols and emergency safety regulations, but now we have made them available on our website to help drivers and fleet managers in road emergencies,” Łukasz Tymoszczuk, Conti360° network manager at Continental Opony Polska, explains how this unique knowledge base was born.

In general, in the event of a breakdown, Continental recommends the following general measures, which can also be useful for passenger car drivers:

– Stop on the emergency lane and turn on the hazard lights,

– Put on a high visibility jacket,

– Place a warning triangle 50 metres (100-150 metres on motorways) behind the vehicle,

– Take cover behind a safety barrier and notify the police or roadside assistance.


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