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Even while motorways cause panic in people who have never driven on them or have limited experience, they are the safest roads to travel on in the United Kingdom.

Motorway with a cross overhead

Motorways have a top speed of 70 miles an hour. Situations might suddenly alter due to the high pace. It’s just as crucial to be alert of the traffic directly around you as it is to look ahead for any potential changes in lanes or traffic. Motorways are not accessible to everyone.

Motorways are not accessible to learner riders or motorbikes with engines smaller than 50cc. Motorways are also off-limits to cyclists, horseback riders, and certain slow-moving or over-sized vehicles without specific permission.

motorway signs have a blue background with white

Learner drivers can now drive on motorways if they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor (ADI) and the teaching vehicle is equipped with dual controls. The practical driving test, on the other hand, does not include driving on motorways, and if a test applicant were to join a motorway by accident and it was the test candidate’s fault, a test failure would be issued.

When compared to dual carriageways, motorways can have up to four lanes and employ blue signage. Green signs are used on the roads. When you first go on a motorway, stay in the left lane until you’ve adjusted to the shift in pace and the traffic around you.

Using Motorways

Joining a Motorway

Most people fear this part, especially when merging onto a congested highway. Joining a highway is almost identical to joining a dual carriageway, which most of us have done. You will gain confidence and find the process easier as you practise.

The main steps in joining a highway are as follows:

  • must analyse the traffic on the motorway as soon as possible from the slip road and modify your speed to match what they’re doing.
  • Before joining, provide a right-hand signal to indicate your want to join. This makes it easier for other drivers to see you at night.
  • Prioritize traffic that is already on the highway. If it appears that getting onto the road is problematic, cars will usually slow down or change to another lane.
  • Before you join, check your right mirror and over your right shoulder to make sure it’s safe.
  • not to drive on the hard shoulder, but to stay in the left lane once you’ve joined until you’ve gotten used to the pace and conditions.

Other vehicles joining the Motorway

To check for vehicles joining the motorway, frequent all-around observation, including looking well ahead, is critical.

If you observe other vehicles approaching, either slow down gradually, keeping in mind any vehicles approaching from behind, or transfer to another lane following the motorway overtaking technique. Often, where this motorway sign indicates an exit slip road, a motorway entry slip road follows shortly after.

Interchange at Motorways

A motorway interchange is a location where two or more motorways may split or merge. An interchange sign, such as the one seen here, will usually give you a one-mile warning, allowing you plenty of time to choose the lane you need.

This sign is used on the approach to the junction (usually 1 mile and
½ mile in advance)

It’s critical to get into the correct lane as soon as possible, as it may get tough if you wait too long. The closer you approach to the junction, the more solid white lines you’ll see, making it unlawful to cross across.

Exit the Motorway

The location of the exit junction, the route name, and the distance to the exit junction are all displayed on the motorway exit signs.

Countdown markers indicate
the distance to the start of the
deceleration lane.

The exit sign provides you with a one-mile caution, followed by a half-mile warning. After that, countdown markers are employed, beginning with a 300 yard marker, then a 200 yard marker, and lastly a 100 yard marker.

At the 300 yard marker, use the MSM procedure to give other traffic plenty of notice of your intentions. Pay close attention to signs indicating which lane you need for your destination on the exit deceleration slip road.

Learner drivers are not required to be taught on motorways at any point throughout their training. As a result, your first drive on a highway may be alone.

Many motorways are similar to dual carriageways. If you’re nervous about driving on a highway, start with plenty of practice on a dual carriageway before moving on to the highway. Motorways can seem intimidating at first, but once you’re on them, you’ll quickly realise that they’re not that bad after all. Also, keep in mind that motorways are statistically the safest roads to drive on in the United Kingdom.

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