When you first pass your driving test, you most likely feel ready to take on the world from behind the wheel. And then comes the dreaded motorway. There are many people who would class themselves as being pretty confident on the road but who dread going on the motorway. While motorway driving can be a daunting experience the first time around, there are some tips that can help build your confidence.
Some tips to help first-time motorway drivers
Take the Pass Plus test before tackling the motorway
There are many people who are confident about driving on the road but very nervous about tackling the motorway. If you feel nervous about motorway driving, it is well worth speaking to your instructor about taking the Pass Plus test. This way, you can get experience on the motorway with the help of a qualified person you already trust.
Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code
You may feel that you know the Highway Code inside out and upside down when it comes to driving on the road. However, there are also sections of the Highway Code that apply just to motorway driving. Since it is unlikely you will have covered this as part of your regular driving test, you should make sure you familiarise yourself with it before you take your first trip on the motorway.
Take an experienced driver along
It can be very helpful to take an experienced driver along as a passenger when you drive on the motorway for the first time. You can take along a friend, partner, or family member – anyone you feel comfortable with.
Plan your route carefully
It is a good idea to plan your route carefully before you go, as this will make your trip far less stressful. Familiarising yourself with the junctions you need to look out for to exit the motorway or merge with another can be very helpful. Also, make sure you also plan some stop-offs so you can have a break during your motorway trip.
Do a safety check on your car
When you are heading onto the motorway, whether it is your first trip or subsequent ones, always perform a safety check on your vehicle. Make sure the tyres are in good condition, your windscreen wash is topped up, and your oil levels are okay. Also, check your brakes and your tyre pressure.
Be aware of your speed
The speed limit on motorways is 70mph, but this can change in different circumstances – for instance, due to weather conditions or works being carried out. Make sure you stay alert and keep your eyes on what is going on and on any signs relating to speed changes.
Try to minimise on distractions when you are on the motorway, as this will make it much easier for you to stay focused on your driving. It is worth switching off your mobile phone while you are driving to avoid being distracted by incoming texts and calls. That way, you will still have your phone with you to use in the event of an emergency but you won’t have to worry about being distracted by it.
Take regular breaks on long trips
If you are new to motorway driving and you have a long journey ahead of you, make sure you take regular breaks. Remember, when you are on the motorway, you cannot just pull over whenever you want to like you can on the road. You need to take breaks as and when the opportunity arises. We have over 50 sites nationwide so there are plenty of places for a pitstop. You can then refresh yourself, take a break, and have a coffee before you hit the road again.
Practice with shorter trips
If you are concerned about motorway driving, why not ease yourself in with some shorter trips before tackling a longer motorway drive? Even if you have nowhere you particularly need to go, it could be worth driving one or two junctions and then back again just to get a feel for it.
Keep your distance
When you are on the motorway, make sure you keep a good distance from the car in front. The faster speeds that are used on the motorway makes this very important, so make sure you always keep an eye on the vehicles in front of you so you do not get too close to them.
Get around with greater ease and convenience
Once you have developed a feel for motorway driving and built up your confidence, you can get around with far greater ease. Getting from A to B will be far easier and quicker once you can use the motorway rather than regular A roads, so it is well worth getting to grips with motorway driving.