Driving on Motorways


Motorways have a far better accident record than any other parts of our national road system. But every year we see crashes on the motorway that could have been prevented. By sticking to a few simple motorway rules all drivers can ensure that they don’t contribute to behaviour which could be termed as motorway madness’

Driving Tips

Make sure your car is well maintained, has sufficient fuel and oil, has correct tyre pressure and tyre are in good condition (including spare). Observe speed limit. Remember that concentration and frequent use of mirrors are doubly important on motorways because of higher traffic volumes.

Take extra care when approaching intersections where traffic is joining motorway. Obey motorway signals. These warn of dangers ahead, for example an accident, broken down vehicle, poor weather conditions, flooding, slippery road surface. Be prepared to anticipate the unexpected actions of other drivers.

Keep your distance. On a dry road and in good weather conditions leave at least a 2 second gap between your vehicle and the one in front! Only a fool breaks the 2 second rule !

On wet, slippery roads or in poor visibility leave at least a 4 second gap. Switch on dipped lights when visibility is reduced.

Use your mirrors and observe lane discipline. Always use the left hand lane where possible. Remember lane 2/3 is not the ‘middle lane’ or the ‘fast lane’ these are over taking lanes and should be used as such. Always indicate when changing lanes.

Overtake or pass only on the RIGHT unless traffic is moving in queues and the queue on your right is moving more slowly then you are. Never move into a lane on your left to overtake and never use the hard shoulder to overtake.

Take special care when joining. You must give way to motorway traffic. Beware of the blind ‘spot’ factor. Take care in foggy conditions. Slow down. Use your lights. Keep a sensible distance. In very bad fog open your window slightly and turn off the radio so that you can hear other vehicles.

Take regular breaks at service areas, but never on the hard shoulder if you feel sleepy, get off the motorway at the first opportunity.

Take particular care at road works and when approaching them. Reduce your speed and obey warning signs which have been put up.

Motorway Break Down

if you have a vehicle problem on a motorway, use left indicator or hazard signals and, when safe to do so, move to the hard shoulder. Try to locate the nearest emergency telephone box. These are usually one mile apart. Put your hazard warning lights on.

Park well over the hard shoulder. Lock all your doors apart from the passenger door and use the passenger door to exit your vehicle.

If you need to walk to a telephone box, remember that the arrows on the marker posts point to the nearest one. You don’t need money to make a call and you will automatically be put through the police control who will take your details. Even if you have a mobile phone you should use the motorway emergency phones as they provide the operator with the exact location. If you feel unable to use the motorway phone and decide to use your mobile, you must give a accurate location motorway number (last or next junction number). The number of the nearest marker post will be a great help.

When you have your emergency call, if the weather permits, stand on the motorway embankment, The main danger is from passing traffic.

If you’re alone in your vehicle and an unidentified vehicle pulls up, immediately get into your car and lock the passenger door. It is illegal for anyone to stop on the motorway and offer assistance. Ask anyone who stops to offer assistance to contact the appropriate emergency service, Rather than assist personally. Keep a warm coat, blanket and walking shoes in your vehicle.

When leaving the hard shoulder, always increase your speed to that of passing vehicles and wait for a long safe gap in traffic.

Call Tony on 086 1963447 or email


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