Motorways are a convenient link to help speed up our journeys and also keep smaller roads from getting too congested. However, if you are new to motorway driving, here are some things to remember to help you make your journey a safe one…
Keeping an eye on the speed on a motorway is essential. The speed limit on the motorway in the UK is 70 miles per hour, however, this can vary depending on different factors. On a smart motorway for example, you may see speed signs displayed that tell you a different speed limit. This is done for traffic management, so keep an eye on this as they can change.
You may also find that the weather conditions make it unsafe to do a speed that is too high – you don’t have to travel at the speed limit and when the weather is bad you should certainly be careful and in bright low sun, heavy rain or icy conditions for example it is sensible to reduce your speed.
Cars do break down, it happens and it is not always something that we can predict or prevent. However, making sure that you give your car a check over before your trip can certainly reduce your risk of breaking down on the motorway. If this does happen, you should get your car onto the hard shoulder if possible and immediately get all people out of the vehicle (leaving the hazard lights on). Then you can call a breakdown vehicle who can come and either repair your car or tow you away. So, make sure that you have breakdown cover for this!
You will notice that certain vehicles that need to stop on the motorway, such as the recovery breakdown vehicles, and also police and traffic management vehicles have stripes on the back called chapter 8 chevrons like this https://www.vehiclechevrons.com
These are there to ensure that these vehicles can stop safely on a motorway and that people know that they could stop. There are lots of other signs and markings on motorways to be aware of before you head out onto the motorway, so it is a good idea to have a look at the motorway specific signs in the highway code before you travel on a motorway, so that you know what signs you might see and what you need to do when you see them.