HIGHWAYS England issued safety advice to drivers in Swindon ahead of the busiest time of the year for breakdowns on motorways.

New data from the company revealed that 4,207 breakdowns happened in motorways around the south west between the last weekend in June and the first weekend of September last year and similar figures are expected this summer.

Head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “We want everyone to get to their destination safely and we can all play a part in that.

“Highways England has done a lot of work to ease congestion on our motorways and make them safer, and our traffic officers are there to help get things moving if there’s a problem. But you should also make sure you know what to do if your vehicle does break down.

“We’re expecting to see a big increase in breakdowns over the next few weeks as drivers set out on longer journeys during the summer. So, we’re urging drivers to remember the basics of motorway driving, including carrying out simple vehicle checks before setting off, to help keep us all moving.”

• Keep left and avoid middle-lane hogging to help traffic flow.

• Obey Red X signs, which are displayed on overhead electronic signs to close lanes.

• Obey variable speed limit signs that tackle stop-start conditions.

• Check tyres, engine oil, water, fuel and lights before setting off on a long journey.

• If you break down in moving traffic and cannot leave the car, keep the seatbelt and hazard lights on and call 999.

• If possible, get away from the traffic by exiting the motorway or get to an emergency area or hard shoulder and use the free phone provided.

• Get out of the left side of the car and behind the barrier if it is safe to do so.

•Contact a breakdown provider or Highways England on 0300 123 5000.