For especially new drivers, driving on the motorway can be a nervous experience if you’re doing this for the very first time. However, motorways are the safest types of road and with good guidance and knowledge drivers can feel better and more confident out about driving on motorways.
Becoming a better motorway driver
Firstly, it’s a good idea to revise the latest version of the Highway Code for motorway driving. This will help you to be better prepared with knowledge of the rules and regulations.
To make sure that the vehicle is safe to drive on the motorway we can carry out some basic car checks. We can check the :
- Engine oil
- Windscreen washer fluid
- Engine coolant
- Car lights – interior and exterior.
If your preparing for your first time on the motorway we recommend being accompanied by an experienced driver or preferably an approved instructor. Many good instructors provide driving lessons for the motorway. They will be able to offer good accurate advise, motorway tips and confidence building for driving at higher speeds.
joining and leaving the motorway
You’ll join a motorway using a slip road. To get used to any traffic already on the motorway, keep to the left lane to for a while to familarise yourself to the conditions and speeds involved.
Motorway exits are signed well in advance at 1 mile and half mile points. There are also countdown makers at 270, 180 & 90 metre points on approach to an exiting slip road. Drivers should normally aim to be in the left lane well before leaving, ideally before the half mile point to an exit.
Be aware of your speed after leaving a motorway as you could be travelling faster than you think. Make good use of the speedometer.
Keeping a safe distance on motorways
Motorway driving usually involves high speed traffic, so as with all aspects of safe driving it is very important to keep a safe distance from any vehicles ahead. Remember the 2 second rule. When following larger vehicles it is often makes it see well ahead. By dropping back further a drivers view or the road ahead can be improved.
take a rest – fatigue
Driving in a motorway is monotonous and on long journeys drivers fatigue could occur. This is dangerous situation, so if you beginning to feel tired take a rest at a motorway service station. It is a good idea to have some refreshment like a coffee or cold drink and go for a walk about.
What to do if your vehicle breaks down on a motorway
If your vehicle develops a problem or breaks down whilst travelling on the motorway you should firstly keep calm. If it is safe to do so, move into the left hand lane in good time and leave the motorway at the next exit or service station.
For a more serious problem, try to pull up in the hard shoulder if there is one provided. Once stopped, the driver and any passenger should leave the vehicle using the door(s) on the left.
On a smart motorway with no hard shoulder, try to stop in a safe place as far to the left as is suitable in the left hand lane. These type of motorways are continually monitored by the authorities. They will see that you have broken down and take action to warn other traffic via motorway signs until you get assistance.
Motorways and safety
Statistics show that motorways are the safest type of road in term of the number of accidents which occur. However, on these roads many different types of vehicles are usually moving very fast. This means, when accidents happen they can be serious.
Becoming safer motorway driver
By taking a course of motorway driving lessons and instructor can teach you the good foundations for motoring on these types of road. Key skills include planning, hazards awareness, anticipation.