By The Acclaim Team on 09th September 2021 in News
If you have recently passed your driving test, one thing you may have yet to conquer is the motorway. Many drivers tend to avoid the motorway due to nervousness and the misconception that they are more dangerous than an ordinary road.
As with any other type of driving, providing that you follow the Highway Code at all times, a motorway can be a safe place. It can actually be far easier to drive on compared to country roads, dual carriageways and residential roads. Although this is, of course, down to your personal preference.
Whether you’re a driving novice or you’ve been driving for a little while and have simply been putting off a trip down the M1, you really have nothing to worry about! We’ve put together a list of our top tips for motorway driving to prepare you for any road trip.
Prepare for the Journey
Similar to any long journey, we always recommend preparing beforehand by mapping out your route and making a note of your timings. For example, this may include the departure time and expected time of arrival, and may also take into account any stops you wish to make.
You should check the condition of your lights, tyres and wipers, as well as your oil levels, engine coolant levels and washer fluid levels.
We do also recommend reading our guide on how to prepare for your first long drive.
Use Your Mirrors and Check Your Blind Spots
You may think this is an obvious tip, but thousands of accidents in the UK could be avoided each year if motorists used their mirrors correctly. Before you set off, ensure your mirrors are positioned correctly to provide maximum visibility.
As you will have learnt in your lessons, mirror – signal – manoeuvre. Using this driving technique is the best and safest way to manoeuvre your vehicle.
Keep using your mirrors at all times to be aware of what is going on around you, checking your blind spot whilst on the move can be dangerous. Taking a quick sideways glance over your shoulders to check that the road is clear before changing lanes could be a lifesaver.
Checking your blind spots is crucial and there may be occasions when this is needed, especially if you think you may be in someone else's blind spot particularly when on a slip road merging onto the motorway, changing lanes or overtaking.
Stick to the Left
While you may well have heard of the ‘fast’ lane, there actually is no such thing.
Motorways can have two, three or four lanes. An important rule to remember is that you should travel in the left-hand lane unless overtaking a slower-moving vehicle. There may also be times when the middle (or second) lane is occupied with slower-moving traffic. Simply move to the next (third) lane to safely overtake, before moving back to the left lane when it is safe to do so.
When you have finished overtaking, move back into the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so; - be sure to check your mirrors and blind spots before moving back. It may go without saying, but, when overtaking, be sure to give other drivers as much room as possible to prevent them from suddenly having to brake.
Understand the Rules and Driving Laws
The Highway Code is something you should never avoid reading, particularly as you’ll find new signs on the motorway that you won’t find on a standard road.
You must read the Highway Code before travelling on the motorway as this will provide you with everything you need to know about signals, signs, overtaking, signalling, and much more.
Stick to Speed Limits
Sticking to the national speed limit of 70 mph is the best way to ensure you keep safe on the motorway. However, there may also be times when there are variable speed limits, due to the buildup of traffic, an accident or roadworks.
You should never exceed 70 mph or the variable speed limit set for that road. Failure to comply with the speed limit will land you with penalties, a fine, and in some instances, the loss of your licence altogether.
Advanced Driving Lessons
As a new driver, you may be feeling quite confident behind the wheel soon after you pass your test. However, advanced driving lessons can help you to become a safer driver on the road by improving your driving skills and ironing out any minors from your driving test.
While driving lessons should be geared toward passing your test and becoming a confident driver, you may wish to explore advanced driving lessons to build up your motorway confidence.
As well as this, advanced driving lessons can also teach you new techniques to improve fuel economy!
Safe Driving With Acclaim Driving
Gaining your driver’s licence after passing the DVSA test can give you an incredible sense of freedom after all of the hard work you’ve put in - after all, the days and nights of research have finally paid off!
If you are interested in having advanced driving lessons to help you become a safer driver by improving your driving skills, we’d be more than happy to help.
Give us a call to discuss any questions you may have or to check availability on a date that suits you.