Motorway Dos and Don'ts That Drivers Often Get Wrong

Whether you spend countless hours commuting each week, or you save the best part of your annual mileage for a summer holiday at the other end of the country, most of us like to think we know what we’re doing on the motorway. But we’ve all driven alongside a bad driver before, and to tell the truth, we aren’t always so perfect ourselves. To help you get it right on the roads, we’ll run through the dos and don’ts of motorway driving. 

Do: Pay attention

Motorways might seem like the easiest roads to drive on; everyone’s going the same way, signs are usually clear and obvious, and you don’t have any traffic lights, corners or one-way systems to worry about. That could lull you into a false sense of security, while the monotony might start to make your eyes feel a little droopy. Make sure you pay attention though, as no roads have higher speeds than motorways, and always take a break if you’re tired. 

Do: Overtake

It’s important to remember that motorways don’t have slow and fast lanes, there’s - usually - just lanes one, two and three. In the UK, the left-hand lane is for normal driving, and the other two are for moving into when you want to overtake. As long as you stick to a safe, legal speed, overtaking helps to keep motorways clear, as cars don’t have to stick behind slow-moving vehicles which would clog up the roads. 

Do: Indicate

Whether on the motorway or driving through towns and cities, indicators aren’t there to make your dash look pretty for a few moments. They’re the only tool you have to show other road users your intentions, and indicating on the motorway could prevent another car from heading into the same lane you want to move towards. 

Don’t: Tailgate

Intimidating, unnecessary and downright dangerous, tailgating is a criminal offence in the UK. Sometimes it might seem the driver behind you has no obvious reason for doing it, but lots of people think tailgating will help convince the car in front to get out of their way. A simple flash of the lights might be a safer way to show someone you want to get past.

Don’t: Lane hog

Whether you’re circling London along the M25 or crossing the North/South divide on the M1, there’s a surefire way to annoy your fellow motorway users. As well as being hugely irritating for those wanting to get past you, lane hogging is actually against the law and could land you a fine or points on your license. Avoiding it can also help keep those pesky tailgaters off your back. 

Don’t: Stop

You should never stop on the motorway, unless you break down or have another serious emergency. The hard shoulder is a dangerous place to stop, and isn’t there for making a quick phone call to your folks, having a snack, or even going to the loo. 

From sticking to the speed limit to minding the gap to the car in front, observing the basic rules of motorway driving helps to keep our fastest roads as safe as possible for everyone. Keep an eye out for things like variable speed limits on motorways like the M25, use service stations to take a break, and remember that the faster you travel the more damage you can do to yourself and others.