We’ve all been there: sitting on the motorway silently (or loudly!) urging the car in front to get into the slow lane as they amble down the...
Your Guide To Motorway Driving: On The Road
A 2017 report by the RAC showed that a quarter of motorists thought that motorways are the most dangerous of the six types of roads. However, motorways are actually the safest roads in Britain, with only 4% of accidents occurring on motorways. Despite this, twenty percent of motorists still fear motorways, citing speed, lack of confidence, accident risk and monotony as their reasons for avoiding motorways wherever possible.
Understanding how to drive on a motorway will go a long way to alleviating that fear and will help to keep you and other users safe. Last week, we looked at part one of driving safely on motorways: preparing your vehicle and getting onto the motorway in the first place! This week, we take a look at how you should drive once you’re on the road.
Choosing Your Lane
When it comes to lane choices, it is simple: if you want to go faster than the car in front of you, move into the lane on your right. If you ARE the car with a queue of vehicles behind you or overtaking you, move into the left-hand lane. Once you have overtaken a vehicle, always move back into the left-hand lane. Don’t sit in the middle or right-hand lane if you don’t need to. Adhere to the speed limit (70 mph unless otherwise stated) and remember that some vehicles, such as lorries and caravans, have a lower limit (60 mph).
Motorway driving is faster and busier than driving on any other road and, although accidents are rare, they have the potential to be catastrophic. Always, always remember the two second rule. Two seconds is the average time it takes for someone to react to an incident and stop in time. Pick a static spot in the road and make sure that you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. “Only a fool forgets the two second rule”!
Motorway driving may be boring, but it is important that you stay alert. Constantly check your mirrors so that you are aware of what is ahead of, behind, and either side of you. Safe driving isn’t just about knowing what you are doing; it is about knowing what other road users are doing, too.
Motorway driving isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little getting used to. A steady speed and paying attention will get you from A to B efficiently and safely, but if you lack confidence, check out motorway driving lessons from local driving instructors. These can help boost confidence and could help to lower your insurance, too.