Sometimes there’s just no way around it – you need to pull over and take a look at your campervan. Maybe it’s a mechanical problem, you need to take a call, or perhaps you just fancy some fresh air. Either way, parking by the roadside can be a dangerous affair, particularly in places like Spain where there’s not always an obvious hard shoulder. Good knowledge of proper roadside safety is vital for keeping yourself out of trouble when you need to stop.
Choose Your Stopping Place
Campervans have the advantage of being eminently visible to most other drivers, but if you’re parked on a corner or near a difficult junction you just won’t be seen. On major roads you should never park anywhere except a lay-by or on the hard shoulder only in emergencies. Aid your cause with your hazard warning lights and make sure your headlights are dimmed if it’s dark. It’s easy to leave them on if you’re out of the vehicle.
Make Sure You’re Kitted Out
High visibility jackets and warning triangles are essential if you’re stopped on the road in Europe: they are a legal requirement, but they can be very useful elsewhere. Make sure you use them whenever you’re stopped: if you are caught up in an incident you need to prove to your campervan insurance provider that you were doing all you could to avoid it happening. Torches are also very useful in the dark.
Get Out of Your Vehicle
Though it might be warm, it’s incredibly dangerous to hang around at the side of the road in your vehicle. If you need to make a call then find some space away from the verge. It’s possible your campervan could be involved in a collision while parked and you need to be well away, particularly if you’ve broken down somewhere unusual.
Roadside safety is common sense but there are plenty of accidents every year that catch campervan drivers unexpectedly. If you do need to stop, do so safely and don’t take any chances that you don’t need to.