As someone who has never been particularly daunted by motorway driving, GEM’s latest survey revealed a strength-of-feeling amongst motorists regarding certain practices on our highways that took me by surprise.
Tailgating has been cited as the most dangerous offence closely followed by talking on a mobile phone and hogging the middle lane as the top three practises most likely to cause a dangerous situation on a motorway.
As I say, I’m perfectly happy to get on the motorway and take it all in my stride, in fact a long drive back from Harrogate last night gave insight to some undertaking, tailgating and speeding that beggars belief!
However, talking to my mum the other day made me realise that many motorists do find motorway driving very intimidating.
My dear dad has had to give up driving due to ill health and it’s been devastating to both my parents. My dad, as an area sales manager in agriculture, used to drive about 60,000 miles every year and being behind the wheel for him was the most natural thing in the world. He taught me to drive and gave me the opportunity to ‘drive him to work’ on many occasions long before I took my test which I will credit as giving me my confidence. He was the sort of driver who was a perfect gentleman and made us all feel very safe and secure in the car, and he loved it. It has been the biggest blow to him to have to give up his licence, but also to my mum, who now has to do all the driving.
Having been safely driven from A to B for the past 50 years by my dad, she is now faced with having to take on the job, or else go nowhere. Coming up to London to visit me and my family presents the biggest challenge and one she has resisted to date, because she’ll have to go on the MOTORWAY!
Whilst I might find it mildly amusing/annoying to have a driver on my tail, put my mum in that situation and she would be in a complete state of panic at 70 miles an hour in the middle lane (she’d never be in the fast lane!) Likewise, drivers changing lane without adequate signals, others speeding past well over the limit or the middle lane road hog, can obviously be very threatening to the less confident motorist.
Mum’s solution is to avoid the motorway altogether, which no doubt is music to the ears of the perpetrators of bad practise. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s a shame she feels intimidated by driving on motorways when she is perfectly happy to pootle along the A Roads and dual carriage ways of Somerset and Wiltshire.
It does make me wonder if the law was a little tougher on dangerous motorway practises, perhaps I’d see my mum and dad a little more often.
Why not take a look at GEM Motoring Assist’s tips for drivers who would like some help to build up their confidence in senarios like this.