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   About Driving on the Motorway

Driving on the Motorway

There are less accidents on Motorways than on any other roads. But often there are we crashes on the motorway that could have been prevented. If you stick to a few simple motorway rules you can ensure that you don’t contribute to behaviour which could be termed as 'motorway madness'.


Tips on Driving

When driving on wet slippery roads, or if there is poor visibility then you should leave at least a four second gap between you and the vehicle in front. In daylight, switch your headlights on to dipped when visibility is poor. Always use your mirrors and observe lane discipline. Use the left hand lane (slow lane) whenever possible. Lanes two and three are overtaking lanes and not “fast lanes”. Indicate when changing lanes.

Make sure that your vehicle is well maintained, and that you have sufficient fuel and oil, check the tyre pressures and make sure that tyres are in good condition including the spare wheel (you never know when you might need it). Always drive within the speed limit. Concentration and use of mirrors are important on motorways because of higher traffic volumes and the speed of vehicles. Take care when approaching intersections where traffic is joining or merging on the motorway. Always obey motorway signals. These signals warn of dangers ahead: an accident, broken down vehicle, bad weather conditions, flooding or a slippery road surface. Keep your distance from the car in front. When driving on a dry road and in good weather you should leave at least a 2 second gap between your car and the one in front.

Take special notice of the signs that say “Tiredness Kills” take regular breaks at service areas, but never stop on the hard shoulder. If you do feel tired get off the motorway at the next exit. Take care at road works and when approaching them. You must reduce your speed and obey all warning signs. Pass or overtake only on the right hand side unless traffic is moving in queues and the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are.

It is an offence to move into a lane on your left to overtake and never use the hard shoulder to overtake. Be very careful when joining a motorway, you must give way to all motorway traffic. Slow down in foggy conditions and use your lights. Always keep a sensible distance from the car in front and in very bad fog open your window slightly and turn off any music so you can hear other vehicles.


Breaking Down on the Motorway

If you have to walk to a telephone the arrows on the marker posts point to the nearest telephone. All calls are free and you will be put through to police control who will take all your details. You should use the motorway phones because they provide the operator with your location. If you can’t to use the motorway phones and you use your mobile, you must give an accurate position, the motorway number and the last or next motorway junction number also the number of the nearest marker post will be a great help.

If you break down on the motorway, use your hazard signals or your left indicator and when it is safe to do so, move over to the hard shoulder. Find the nearest emergency phone box. They are normally one mile apart. Park well over to the left on the hard shoulder and lock all your doors apart from the passenger door and use the passenger door to exit your vehicle. When you leave the hard shoulder increase your speed to that of other vehicles and wait for a long safe gap in the traffic. When you have made your call, if weather conditions permit, stand on the embankment because the main danger is from passing traffic.

If an unidentified vehicle pulls up and you are alone in your vehicle get into your car and lock the doors. It is actually against the law for anyone to stop on the motorway and offer help. If anyone does stop ask them to contact the appropriate emergency service, rather than help you. It is best to keep a warm coat, walking shoes and a blanket in your vehicle.


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