Driving on the motorway can be a daunting experience for some drivers, but it is important to remember some simple driving tips to stay safe on some of the fastest roads in the county.
Driver error is present in 90% of motorway accidents (with mechanical failure accounting for only 10%).
Only a fool breaks the two second rule!
When driving on the motorway, the two second rule is a simple but effective way of making sure you keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
Just pick a landmark ahead of you such as a bridge or road marking, and when the vehicle in front passes that landmark, count and say 'one thousand and one, one thousand and two'. If you have passed the landmark before you have finished the phrase, you are too close to the vehicle in front and should back off.
Breaking down on the motorway
Using the hard shoulder
Breaking down on the motorway can be frightening but by following this advice, you can remain safe.
- Pull over to the hard shoulder as far to the left as possible and turn on your hazard warning lights
- Leave via the left hand door, leaving animals in the vehicle or keep them under control on the verge
- Know your location so you can inform the Highways Agency prior to ringing them
- Use the emergency roadside phones and quote the special number on the driver location signs placed along the side of each carriageway. These are placed at one mile intervals. By quoting this information, the emergency services know exactly which motorway you are on, which direction you are travelling and your exact location on that motorway.
- Wait well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder for help to arrive. You should never attempt even the simplest of repairs
- If you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle via the left hand door, fasten your seatbelt and lock all the doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel the risk has passed
- Wear a high visibility jacket (where possible) to make sure that other motorists can see you.
Tiredness kills - take a break!
It is estimated that over 300 people are killed every year as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Tiredness affects your reaction times and your ability to control the vehicle.
Don't fight the signs of tiredness and plan your journey to include regular breaks. Caffeine based drinks will help but the only real cure for tiredness is proper sleep.
Avoid starting long journeys between midnight and 4am when you are naturally tired. Don't start a journey if you already feel tired.