Archive 29th November 2013

Tips on Motorway Driving

If you’re new to the world of driving, going on a motorway alone for the first time can be something of a worry. However, it’s easier than you might think. One thing that puts a lot of new drivers off is the speed at which everyone is travelling, and yes, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to it.

So, just for you we’ve decided to give you some tips and other snippets of information in order to help you feel more confident about this aspect of your new skill.

Motorway Driving Is Safer

This sub-heading might shock you but statistics do show that generally, driving on the motorway is much safer than other roads and here’s why:

  • Everyone is travelling in the same direction.
  • There are not as many other potential hazards to worry about than when you’re, say, driving in town. Cyclists, pedestrians, mopeds, and various agricultural vehicles are not allowed on motorways so this removes this hazard.
  • The road is usually straight for many miles so you don’t have to worry about slowing down for tight bends.
  • There are no T-Junctions, roundabouts or traffic lights to worry about.
  • The lanes are wide and very well marked.

Joining a Motorway

This is possibly the time when you will be most nervous because the world is suddenly moving much quicker than you’ve been used to before. However, fear not! You can join a motorway from a roundabout or a main road using what’s called the “slip road”. Once you’re on the slip road, you will then join an acceleration lane.

At this point you need to keep your wits about you and using what you were taught in terms of mirror and signal when learning to drive really comes into play. Make sure you’re going with the flow of the traffic and use your indicators to let others know you’re about to join the motorway. Use your mirrors, and if necessary look over your shoulder to make sure you’re not interfering with other vehicles.

Leaving a Motorway

Motorways in the UK are incredibly well sign-posted so you’ll know well in advance which junction you need. As you approach the exit you will see a 3 countdown set of signs (see the picture above). Don’t slow down just yet. You only need to do this once you’ve actually moved into the deceleration lane.

Watch your speed once you’ve left the motorway, for novice drivers it can take a while to acclimatise back to driving on a normal road again. Also remember that you’ll more than likely come up against roundabouts or traffic lights almost immediately after leaving the motorway.

All in All

Driving on the motorway isn’t the hardest thing in the world to do. In fact, it can get to the point where you find it boring because you’re simply driving in a straight line. Make sure you’re not over tired when you take to the motorway, observe proper lane usage and you’ll be just fine.

Now Is the Time for an Advanced Driving Course

In the UK, we’re already experiencing those cold winter mornings. If you’re lucky the sun is shining, and everything looks crisp and fresh because of the layer of frost that’s on the ground. If you’re not so lucky, you start the day when it’s grey, miserable and wet! For those of you that drive to and from work you will be well aware of the additional hazards you face at this time of year.

Not only do you have to deal with ice patches on the roads (in some cases black ice which can be very dangerous), you also spend more time driving in the dark than you do at other times of the year. This is why; especially if you’re a young driver winter is the perfect time to take an advanced driving course.

Some Statistics for Young Drivers

If you think you don’t need any help with an advanced driving course, perhaps you should take a look at the statistics below:

  • There is just 1 in 8 drivers in the UK that hold a full driving licence who are under the age of 25. However, 1 in 3 of those drivers dies in a car crash!
  • During the first year of driving with a full licence, 1 in 5 drivers will be involved in an accident.
  • This is in no way meant to be sexist because it is fact. Male drivers under the age of 25 are more likely to be involved in an accident than female drivers.
  • Early mornings and late evenings are when most accidents involving just one vehicle are likely to happen.

As you see from the points above, it’s important you make sure you hone your driving skills as best you can.

What Advanced Driving Courses Offer

Possibly one of the most important aspects of a course like this is the fact you will be taught how to deal with driving conditions you don’t generally come across when it’s not winter time. Most (if not all) advanced driving course companies will offer you the opportunity to learn how to cope if your vehicle suddenly starts to skid across the road. This is especially useful when the roads are wet, or you unexpectedly hit a patch of ice.

Other aspects of a course like this can also include the following:

  • How to prepare your car for driving in winter.
  • Aquaplane awareness, and this is something that’s far more common during winter. It also needs to be dealt with differently than if you were to skid.
  • Advanced observations skills you won’t get taught with, say, a pass plus.
  • How to recognise when the surface beneath your car changes which can affect the way your tyres grip the road.

These are just a few examples of what an advanced driving course will offer, and winter is one of the few times of the year when you really need to know what you’re doing. Not only will you become a better driver overall, it may well save your life!

For more details you can visit our website.

Safety Considerations and Winter Driving

If you’re no stranger to our blog, you will know that we often pass on information about safe driving. However, the winter months require more care than you might think, and it’s not just how you drive! Your car will also need some “tender loving care” as well in order for you to avoid breaking down.

If you’re properly insured (and you should be), there will always be a professional waiting to help you if you do happen to breakdown but it’s still something that can mess up your entire day. So, below you will find some handy tips that will help you prepare for those cold winter months ahead.

Electrics and Your Battery

During winter, you will place a higher demand on the electrics in your car. Think about it? You use your wipers more often, the heating will be on, you’ll use your lights more, plus there will be times when you want to de-mist your windows.

This all puts pressure not just on items like wipers, but your battery as well. If you’re a new driver, you should know that batteries will not usually last more than five years and will need replacing. If you’re not sure how old your battery is, ask the professionals. Replacing your battery ahead of time could save you having to call for roadside assistance, taking time out of your day that could be used better elsewhere.

In order to help conserve your battery make sure you don’t leave your car idling for too long (this also saves petrol). Once your windows are free of mist turn the de-mister off, and if you’re not likely to use your car for a couple of days just give it quick burst now and then so the battery doesn’t go flat.


This is something that’s affected far more than any other time of year so try following the tips below:

  • Make sure all your windows and mirrors are free from ice, snow and dirt so you get a clear view of what’s going on around you. If you have snow on the roof of your car, don’t drive off without removing it first. You could end up with a pile landing on your windscreen which will not only surprise you, but might cause an accident as well!
  • Keep your windscreen washer fluid topped up and make sure you use a detergent that’s made for vehicles, and definitely DO NOT use antifreeze because this will damage your paintwork.
  • In the case of antifreeze, you may need to add this to your water cooling system and if you’re not sure ask a professional.
  • The sun sits very low in the sky during winter so it’s a good idea to make sure you have a set of sunglasses in your car, and use the sunshield as well (its there for a reason)!


As long as you ensure you pay more attention to the internal parts of your car that can breakdown during cold weather, keep your vehicle clean and take it slowly you shouldn’t have a problem with driving at this time of year.

Driving in the City – Tips for New Drivers

Nerves! It may seem like they’re never going to end when you’re learning to drive, and to top it all off when you have managed to get a full driving licence, you’re faced with a whole host of other obstacles that can get your heart racing! If you already live in a city the chances are that’s where you learned to drive, so maybe you can take a look at our blog on “potential hazards when driving in the countryside” instead.

However, for those of you that live in the suburbs or a rural area the mere idea of having to drive in the city may seem like something that should be avoided at all costs. But, you’ve learned to drive not just so you can add a new skill to your list but so you can gain greater freedom with when and where you travel. So, below are some tips to think about when driving in the city.

Plan a Route

Big cities can be confusing if you’re not used to them, and the pace of life is much faster. You will come across people who use the roads in a city all the time, and they know all about the little shortcuts and generally how other road users go about their daily routine on the roads.

This is why you should plan your route in advance. There are all sorts of tools to help you these days. You can go to various websites on the internet that will give you detailed instructions on how to get from A-B. If you’re meeting someone at your destination, ask them for instructions. After all, they will know the area well.

You could and should take a map with you just in case you get lost however; it’s not recommended you attempt to read this while sitting at a set of traffic lights or when you’re in traffic. If you must use a map, find somewhere safe to stop.

Take It Slowly

Once you’ve set out on your journey and finally enter the world of city driving, don’t be tempted to act like you know it all. This could lead to an accident, you getting lost or even upsetting another road user. Instead, observe the speed limit and make sure you take note of all the signs (warning or otherwise).

Other Useful Tips

  • If you get in a pickle about which lane you’re supposed to be in, don’t panic! Changing lanes at the last minute is one of the biggest reasons accidents happen in the city.
  • Show some respect for other road users, and don’t be tempted to react if someone waves a fist at you.
  • Keep a special eye out for other types of vehicles. There will be all sorts that you don’t come across normally. This might include motorcyclists, buses, cyclists, Lorries and of course, the dreaded taxi!


If you plan in advance, take your time and keep your own safety in mind, driving in the city won’t be as daunting as you think. In fact, once you’ve done it you may even find you like it!