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.