You, some friends and your new car, it only calls for one thing, road trip! You’ve got a car, you’ve got your new-found freedom, so now’s the time to make the most of it and go on an exciting adventure on the open road. But hold your horses, since the majority of drives will require you to venture onto the motorways and if you’ve never done this before, it can be a little daunting at first. Not to fear though, since all newly passed drivers have been there and done it and it’ll soon feel like a piece of cake! The key to mastering motorway driving is to stay alert and focussed and trust in your driving ability, since you’ve passed your test and are more than capable of taking on those blue-signed roads.
As we said, you’re more than ready, so have faith in your ability, but to help you to feel that little bit more prepared to take on the motorways, here are some top tips.
- Take a calming influence with you
When you first venture onto the motorway, make sure to take someone with you to advise you on the best driving practice, to help you to stay calm and make good decisions. Your driving instructor may have informed you already, but you can actually ask them for some extra lessons once you’ve passed your test, so that you can gain some confidence on the motorways with someone that you’re already comfortable learning to drive with. Failing that, you could always take a parent, just ensure that they stay calm and can help you out in stressful situations, rather than making them worse!
- Check those mirrors!
With extra lanes comes additional need to check those mirrors, to ensure that spaces are clear and safe before you change lane. Before you start driving make sure that you undertake all of the necessary checks, including checking your mirrors are correctly positioned and clean, so that you’re not hindered whilst driving. Of course, don’t rely on your mirrors alone, you’ll want to check your blind spots too since the traffic moves extremely quickly and situations can change very quickly.
- Abide by the 2 second rule
As we mentioned, traffic moves fast on the motorway, which makes it all the more important that you remain a safe distance from other vehicles. It’s straightforward really, but the faster your car is travelling, the greater your stopping distance and the longer it will take you to stop. Driving too close to other cars is called tailgating and this is one of the main causes of traffic accidents in the UK.
If you’re in doubt of how much space you need to maintain from the car in front, try using the two second rule. To do this, you’ll want to focus on a stationary object, like a lamp post, for example, when the car in front of you drives past the lamp post count to two, once you’ve reached two you should also pass the lamp post.
The main thing to remember is to stay calm and stay alert, if you ever feel like you’re struggling to focus or are becoming tired, there are plenty of service stations on the motorway. So, if in doubt, pull over, have a rest and then get back to the road feeling fresh and focussed. Once you’ve mastered the motorway, you’ll be free to get exploring and embark on those adventures with friends.