In the event of breakdowns and accidents, it can be life-saving to properly secure the accident site and put on a high-visibility vest immediately. With the warning triangle, however, you can see almost every day that drivers are ignoring an important rule.

Too lazy? Or just unsure? When drivers set up a warning triangle, it is usually not at the appropriate distance. The car accessories supplier Heyner commissioned a representative survey to find out where the warning triangle should be set up. The result was hardly surprising, because only a small proportion of those surveyed knew where the warning triangle went after an accident or breakdown.

More than half of the more than 1,000 women and men surveyed would place the warning triangle far too close to the accident or breakdown site in urban areas. Almost half of those surveyed stated that a distance of 25 meters was sufficient in built-up areas. A third of drivers believe that the warning triangle must be placed 50 meters from the scene of an accident on country roads and 36 percent would place it at a distance of just 100 meters on motorways.

However, these distances are far too small, because the following applies to the warning triangle:

The TÜV even recommends significantly greater distances, for example 400 meters on the motorway.

Insider reports, tests, guides, videos, background information: FOCUS Online provides you with the most important news from the auto department every week. Here you can subscribe to the newsletter easily and free of charge.

Also important:

In addition to the right distance, visibility and stability are key criteria for a safe warning triangle. The triangle must also be visible in the dark or in poor lighting conditions and must not be knocked over so easily by the pull of passing cars or the first gust of wind.

Incidentally, modern technology could make the good old warning triangle superfluous. The Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESF) 2019 from Mercedes, for example, shows what is conceivable in the future: A warning triangle robot moves out in the event of a breakdown or an accident and automatically places an illuminated warning triangle at a suitable distance from the vehicle to warn other road users – even when the vehicle is driving without a driver.