Life in the fast lane

As part of a new road safety initiative, last month the Government announced that learner drivers will be able to drive on motorways during their lessons for the first time ever. The government wants all learner drivers to be as prepared as possible for life on the roads and as long as the learner is with an approved instructor, they can now gain invaluable motorway experience. Up until now learners have not been allowed to drive on motorways and so generations of learners have passed their test without ever facing motorway driving. This type of driving can be very daunting for the first few times so getting this kind of opportunity before becoming a license owner will hopefully make better, less nervous motorway users. For Driving Lessons Wellingborough, visit

Life in the fast lane

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Motorway driving is quite different to driving on rural, city or town roads and although they look scary, they are in fact the safest roads in the country. Here are some tips to prepare you for your first time on the motorway:

  • Take a look at the motorway section of the Highway Code to familiarise yourself with the rules, layout and speed limits.
  • Plan your journey before you set off and remember what junction numbers you’ll be joining and leaving at.
  • Check your vehicle before heading off – oil levels, tyre pressure and brake and windscreen wash fluid.
  • Before joining the motorway, build up speed on the slip road, complete full observations, check your blind spot and only join when you know it is safe to do so.
  • You should only overtake if it’s safe to do so and you’ll need to judge the speed of other cars carefully. Check the lane is clear, check your blind spot and indicate in plenty of time.
  • Avoid distractions inside the car such as snacks, mobiles and gadgets. Leave them out of sight and out of reach.
  • Remember that although the speed limit is 70 mph, this can change several times on the same stretch of motorway if there is congestion, roadworks or an accident. Be aware of signs telling you to reduce your speed.
  • Remember that as your speed is faster than you would be travelling on other roads, your stopping distance will have increased too. Increase this gap even further if it is foggy, wet or icy.
  • If you feel tired then you must take a break as tiredness can kill.

If the worst should happen and you find you have a problem with your vehicle when you’re on the motorway, you should leave via the nearest slip road or service station. If this isn’t an option and the vehicle just dies on you then pull over onto the hard shoulder as far left as possible. If you can make it to an emergency telephone then even better. Everyone should exit the vehicle on the left and wait on the grass verge. Don’t risk injury or death by trying to carry out repairs at the side of the motorway but call the Highways Agency or police and wait far from the speeding traffic.

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