The motorway can be daunting for drivers of all experiences. They can also be the location for much anxiety, road rage, traffic jams, and accidents. Many collisions and blockages occur because drivers aren’t paying attention, panic when they breakdown, and stop to observe any chaos. However, when drivers stick to the motorway etiquette, the motorways can be some of the country’s safest roads.
Motorway Driving Tips:
· Plan your journey in advance, making sure you know which exits you need to take and where you will stop. Road Safety Scotland advises taking a break for every two hours of driving. Fatigue causes an average of 20% of UK road accidents, so it is important to be alert and to expect the unexpected.
· Keep to the left lane, other lanes are used for overtaking only. A motorway is not like the swimming pool with a fast and slow lane. Additionally, leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the car in front of you, even more so in bad weather conditions. Better overcautious than to be involved in a collision!
· The general speed limit on motorways is 70 mph. Don’t speed or distract yourselves whilst driving, you may require a quick response time. You may be a confident driver, but you might be driving by someone who isn’t as experienced behind the wheel.
- If you see the aftermath of an accident, don’t slow down to investigate. You will be contributing to a long queue of spectators that will result in yet another traffic jam full of unhappy unhappy commuters.
What to do if your vehicle breaks down on the motorway:
· If possible, move to the hard shoulder and turn on your hazard lights. If this is not possible, do not stay in your car. This step of removing the vehicle from oncoming traffic is important for not just the safety of you and your passengers, but for other motorists.
· Lock all other doors and physically distance yourself from the traffic, keep yourself safe. Even in your car on the hard shoulder, accidents can still happen. Wait for assistance on the bank away from traffic. Only leave your car if and when it is safe to do so. There are emergency phones that connects to police every 1,000 metres along the hard shoulder, but never cross to use one. Remain visible to oncoming traffic.
· Immediately call 999 after a breakdown on the motorway. Emergency can the necessary assistance and try and reduce any jams as soon as possible.
· Do not attempt to do any of your own DIY repairs. No matter how small you think the issue is.
If there is no hard shoulder:
· If you can, pull in as far left as you can go to avoid becoming an obstruction. Then put your hazards on.
· Immediately call for help.
· Only exit the vehicle if it is safe to do so. If you cannot, keep your seatbelt on and make sure your vehicle is visible.