The guidelines, available via the link below, are intended to help drivers and fleet managers get assistance fast in an emergency. On cross-border trips in particular, drivers can feel lost in the event of a breakdown and need to be aware of the emergency protocols that they should follow.
The document shows different emergency protocols and regulations for tyre-related breakdown regulations for trucks and buses in 24 European countries.
As Continental points out, in some countries, special protocols must also be respected. For example, in the Netherlands, the Rijkswaterstaat authority assesses a breakdown situation with surveillance cameras or from its highway vehicles and calls in a tow truck and/or additional security if required. In France, drivers (and not the fleet’s back office) must push the SOS button themselves to notify the Highway agency; only if the SOS button is not working is the driver allowed to call the police directly. The fleet office cannot notify highway security about the breakdown. And on some of Sweden’s European routes (E4, E16, E18, E20), the law states that a truck-mounted attenuator (TMA) vehicle must be called out to secure the broken-down vehicle.
Ralf Benack, director, fleet solutions at Continental’s business region Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), explains how the idea arose: “Initially we were compiling the breakdown regulations for our employees in the Conti360° back offices so that they could advise on safety protocols and regulations in the event of a breakdown, but now we’ve made them available on our website to give drivers and fleet managers a helping hand in an emergency out on the road.”
The overview explains when drivers or fleet managers should involve a third party and the police; who needs to place the call; tyre fitment restrictions; the country-specific authorities; and how Conti360° covers third-party costs, if they are incurred.
For example, in the UK, third parties are only involved if extra security is needed; the service partner places a call to highway authorities or to the police; mixed brand and mixed pattern tyre fitments are allowed permanently, but mixed sizes only temporarily; the legal authority is the secretary of state for transport; Conti360° does not cover third-party costs.
In addition, Continental recommends taking the following general measures in the event of a breakdown (rules which, incidentally, also apply to car drivers)
- Stop in the emergency lane (hard shoulder) and turn on your hazard lights
- Put on your reflective safety vest
- Place the warning triangle 50m behind your vehicle (100-150m on highways)
- Take shelter behind the safety barrier and notify the police or third-party assistance
The list also provides contact details for Continental’s Conti360° breakdown service hotline in each country.