A matter of motorway safety

Posted on June 4th, 2013 by GEM Motoring Assist

With more than 30% of UK motorists believing that drivers are generally more aggressive when on motorways, GEM Motoring Assist has prepared a useful guide to safe motorway driving. The advice from the award-winning breakdown cover company and road safety charity covers aspects such as lane discipline, blind spots, speed and distance.

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments: “Bad driving habits on motorways can severely affect the concentration and safety of the other road users, causing agitation and stress for many. So, to help, we’ve created a motorway safety guide for when high speeds are involved and, at the other end of the scale, for when congestion and accidents create dramatic changes in driving conditions, and can require unexpected reduction of speed.”

GEM’s online guide includes sections on motorway regulations, speed and distance, joining and leaving the motorway, lane discipline, motorway signs, awareness of foreign lorries, driving in adverse weather conditions, and safe driving. To help, the following tips contribute to a safe and stress-free driving experience on motorways.

GEM’s top tips for safe motorway driving:

  • In an emergency, the only place that you can stop on the motorway is the hard shoulder. For any other purpose, using the hard shoulder is an offence
  • Always allow at least a two second stopping distance in between your car and the vehicle in front. Allow a minimum of four seconds in wet weather
  • When joining the motorway, use the slip road to match your speed with that of the vehicles already travelling on the main carriageway. Don’t ever stop on the slip road
  • When leaving the motorway, avoid braking on the main carriageway if you can, and do the braking on the slip road
  • Best practice for lane use on motorways is to travel in the left-hand lane and then filter into the middle and right-hand lanes when overtaking
  • Be aware, especially when changing lanes, that left-hand-drive foreign lorries have a blind spot on their right-hand passenger side
  • Always indicate when changing lanes, to make other drivers fully aware of your intentions
  • When red lamps are flashing above your lane, you must go no further in that lane and move safely to a lane in which red signals are not showing
  • In poor weather conditions, use dipped headlights and front or rear fog lights when visibility is less than 100 metres
  • On long journeys, you must take a break of at least 15 minutes every two hours

GEM’s full motoring guide online