Driving on the motorway can be intimidating, particularly if you are a nervous driver, or have recently passed your test. Here we look at the most important things to remember.
Joining the motorway
The key to doing this safely is to match your speed with the traffic already on the motorway. Accelerate on the slip road and follow the mirror, signal, manoeuvre procedure to find an appropriate gap in the traffic flow.
Visibility is hugely important in motorway driving. When you are joining and exiting the motorway and changing lanes you will need to see all around you, so ensure your mirrors are clean and properly positioned.
Watch your speed
The UK speed limit for cars on a motorway is 70 miles per hour. Stick to it and watch out for temporary exceptions such as an accident or road works. Don’t forget that driving too slowly and cautiously on a motorway can be as dangerous as speeding.
Keep your distance
With traffic travelling at such high speeds you need to allow more time to stop. Follow the 2-second rule to ensure there is enough space between you and the car in front.
Keep in the left-hand lane unless you are overtaking. If you do overtake, use your mirrors. Avoid sitting in the middle or outside lanes. (you can now be fined for “lane hogging”). Be aware of large vehicles overtaking as they have much bigger blind spots.
Use your hazards
If you come across slow or stationary traffic, or any kind of accident or obstruction, click on your hazard lights to warn drivers behind you that they should slow down.
Junction marker signs give you a countdown of how far you are from the junction you need. Signal left at the 300 yard marker but don’t reduce your speed- you should not slow down until you turn off the motorway to maintain the flow of traffic.
If you break down
Move onto the hard shoulder as soon as possible and switch on your hazard lights. The biggest risk of breaking down on a motorway is being hit by other traffic, so get out of your car and wait on the verge until help arrives.
As always it is important to keep your vehicle in tip top condition. Contact us for all your tyre, MOT and servicing needs.