Sucking Eggs On The Motorway?

By Kevin | 10th June 2013 | Category: Road Safety | Leave a comment

Image courtesy of Felix Mooneeram /

Image courtesy of Felix Mooneeram /


Yes I know you (the reader) are a good driver; in fact you are the best. Better than all of your friends, your partner, your mother and father, brother and sister, the back seat driver....

But we can all do with a little reminder about driving now and then because we can get very complacent as we tootle along the road oblivious to the world around us – and that is dangerous, especially on a motorway. And with the new careless driving punishments and offences due into statute in July, we need to be even more aware.

In an independent survey commissioned by GEM Motoring Assist, it was found that more than 30% of UK motorists are of the opinion that drivers are generally more aggressive when on motorways, so courtesy of GEM, here are a few tips to keep in the back of your mind when ‘tootling’ along the fast roads that we call a ‘motorway’.

The tips include advice on such aspects lane discipline, blind spots, speed and distance, and more advice (which of course you don’t need but might want to check out anyway) is available on their website and 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..

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.”

But before you (don’t) go rushing off to have a look at it (purely just as a matter of interest, you understand) here are things that you might want to think about to stay stress-free on the motorway.

The only reason you should stop on the hard shoulder is in an emergency. Any other time is an offence. And don’t stop on a slip road either. That’s just to get you up to speed to join the motorway to match the speed of other cars.

When you are driving, don’t be a middle lane hogger (it’s an offence.) Travel in the left-hand lane (That’s what it’s called – NOT the slow lane) and use middle and right-hand lanes for overtaking, making sure that you indicate at all times to let others know what you are doing. And watch out for foreign lorries when changing lanes because they have a blind spot on their right hand passenger side.

Leave a space between you and the car in front, and don’t try and read that hilarious sticker in his rear windscreen by getting up close. Allow a two second gap in good driving conditions and 4 seconds in wet. When it’s wet (or in other poor weather conditions) use dipped headlights and front or rear fog lights when visibility is less than 100 metres.

Look out for road signs and advance warning notices on the motorway. If it says that a lane is going to be closed ahead then change lanes. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Besides being dangerous it is also very annoying to other drivers who deserve courtesy. Drive as you would wish others to drive.

If on a long journey, take a break of at least 15 minutes every 2 hours as a minimum. You might want to get where you are going, but it’s better to get there in one piece than not at all.

And, when leaving the motorway, avoid braking where possible until you are on the slip road.

Obviously this isn’t all, because you know it all, but if it makes you think, and gets you there safely, then it’s worth it.

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