First Time on a Motorway
Motorways are like dual carriageways only safer, they are also faster, and are an excellent way of covering long distances quickly. Motorways are safer because every motorway user is travelling in the same direction and at similar speeds.
Another reason why motorways are safer is due to the fact that traffic is restricted to those who can make best use of it. Entry to pedestrians, cyclists, mopeds, agricultural vehicles, and animals is forbidden.
Motorways are also safer because there are no sharp bends, no oncoming traffic, no right turn, and no roundabouts. The lanes are always wide, and well marked, and are usually straight for long distances.
Types of Motorway
There are two types of motorway, rural and urban. You need to think of them as quiet and busy ones.
Quiet motorways are boring, so you need to concentrate on the road and traffic conditions way ahead.
Busy motorways need your attention all around you rather than just focused ahead.
Take a break
If you’re on a long journey make sure you take a 15 minute break at least every 2 hours. Being tired slows your response times and can cause accidents. Sometimes things do happen quicker, and you have to concentrate all the time.
Statistics show that 15-20% of motorway incidents are caused by fatigue, so be prepared to stop for a break every two to three hours, and always find a safe resting place if you start to feel tired.
Plan your journey before setting off
Make a mental note of the junction numbers where you will be joining and leaving the motorway. It’s not safe to use a map while driving and don’t rely on satellite navigation.
Check your car
Ensure your car is safe to drive – check your oil levels, brake and windscreen wash fluid and your tyre pressures.
Make the most of your mirrors – mirrors are a hugely
important part of motorway driving. Start off by making sure yours are clean
and correctly positioned. You’ll be using them to join the motorway and every
time you change lanes so they need to be in top working order.
Consider bringing along a more experienced driver such as a friend, parent or other relative for reassurance.