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Motorway driving tips

Motorway driving can be the most daunting experience for new drivers, so think about our top tips, and consider taking a Pass Plus course to get your motorway driving techniques on track.


Before you hit the road

Check your oil, brake and clutch fluid, tyre pressure and windscreen washer fluid.

Allow yourself enough time so that you can take a 15-minute break every two hours.

Know which junctions you need – never look at a map while driving.

Pack luggage securely so it won't move around if you need to brake hard.

Plan your journey to try to avoid travelling between midnight and 6am.

Pack a blanket or coat in your car – just in case – along with a pair of walking shoes.


While driving

Follow the two-second rule – give yourself enough time and space to react.

Adjust for the conditions; slow down and follow the four-second rule if the road is slippery or visibility is poor.

Control your speed.

Indicate every time you change lanes.

Keep left unless overtaking. After overtaking return to the left-hand lane – don't forget to indicate, and check your blind spot.

Check your mirrors often – your situation will change quickly on the motorway.

Take extra care around trucks and other large vehicles – they tend to have bigger blind spots and slower reaction times.

Anticipate what's coming next by sweeping the road ahead visually. Look 2 seconds ahead, 4 seconds ahead, and 12 seconds ahead, and check your mirrors.


If you break down on the motorway

Move as far over onto the hard shoulder as you can and switch on your hazard lights.

Call for help from the emergency phone, which will automatically provide your location details.

Give as much location detail as possible if you need to call from your mobile.

Stand on the verge, as the main danger is the possibility of being hit by passing cars.

Return to your car and lock yourself in if another vehicle stops; if approached, then lower your window a few centimetres and explain that help is on the way. (It is illegal to stop on the motorway to assist a breakdown.)

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