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7 Things You Need To Know Before Your First Motorway Drive

Driving on the motorway for the first time can be a daunting experience. Interestingly however, motorways are statistically safer than most other types of road. This makes sense when you think about the fact that everyone is driving at similar speeds, in the same direction along a straight road.

That said, the speed at which you travel and sheer volume of cars can understandably make new drivers a little nervy. Outlined below are seven things you can do to make sure your first motorway drive goes as smoothly as possible:.

Top Tips for your First Motorway Drive.

  1. Preparation - Familiarise yourself with the route you need to take, including the junction numbers you need to a make note of. This will ensure you aren’t caught off guard and can look out for the relevant signs.
  2. On your first motorway drive, it’s advisable not to go it alone. Having an experienced motorway driver with you can help offer some reassurance whilst you familiarise yourself with the process of entering/ leaving the motorway and changing lanes.
  3. Take it steady – When first entering the motorway, make full use of the slip road and build up your speed gradually. Using your indicator in good time will give other drivers the signal to let you enter. Similarly, when leaving the motorway, make sure you’re in the correct lane in plenty of time.
  4. Be decisive – Hesitation can cause confusion with other drivers. As long as you check your mirrors (including your blind spot) and signal in good time, other drivers will accommodate you so once you’ve made a decision to move, stick with it.
  5. Mirrors – Being aware of what’s happening around you is a crucial part of motorway driving. Make sure you regularly check your mirrors so you know where other drivers are going.
  6. Indicators – Always use these when changing lanes to let other drivers know where you’re going.
  7. Use the countdown markers to work out how far away your exit is. These represent 100yards each and can help guide you as you cross over to the slip road. 

Things to remember when driving on the motorway:

  • The speed limit for UK motorways is 70mph (but watch out for variations in this as a result of road works/ accidents/ adverse weather).
  • Tailgating or hogging lanes on the motorway can result in an on-the-spot-fine of £100 and 3 points on your licence.
  • Stopping distances on motorways will be longer as you are driving faster so make sure you maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front, even more so if it’s wet or icy.
  • Do not drive on the motorway if you’re tired – take regular breaks or stop if necessary to ensure you’re safe to be driving.

For further information read Directgov’s handy guide to motorway signs, signals and road markings. At some point in 2018, it has been announced that learner drivers will be able to drive on motorways. At this current moment in time, learner drivers are not allowed to drive on the motorway. However there are courses such as the Pass Plus- aimed at drivers who would like to have lessons to improve their confidence when driving on motorways- these courses are only available after a driver has passed his/her driving test. According to the AA, 1 in 10 women avoid driving on the motorway and one quarter of all drivers knows of somebody who is nervous of motorway driving. To help resolve these fears, the AA are providing FREE motorway driving courses to help enhance driver confidence.

Before any long drive, especially motorway driving, you should ensure that your tyres are safe and ready for the journey. Before you set off it is advised to check your cars tyre pressure, as well as your tyres tread depth. If your tyres are unsafe and you need new tyres then look no further than Tyre Shopper. We stock tyres ranging from Premium Manufacturers such as Pirelli and Bridgestone to Mid-Range Manufacturers such as Barum or even tyres from our budget range at the cheapest possible prices.

Jack Underwood

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