By Lewis on 24th February 2016 - View Comments

Did someone mention the ‘M’ word, theĀ feared motorway…

When you are learning to drive there are many topics on the syllabus that you need to cover and master before you are ready for test. Major subject areas include; junctions, manoeuvres, dual carriageways and independent driving to name just a few.

One important part of driving that can be talked about in theory but cannot be practiced until the learner test is passed are motorways. In this blog we’re not discussing whether being allowed on the motorway whilst being a learner is a good or bad idea, that’s for another day, however we’ll give you more of an insight into motorway procedure to prepare you better for your first experience.

So, where to begin…

Similarities to dual carriageways:

  • Increased traffic flow
  • 70mph speed limit unless stated otherwise for cars
  • Lower speed limits for vans – for all vehicle speed limits check here

Differences to dual carriageways:

  • Blue background signs – distinguishes it’s a motorway
  • Hard shoulder – to be used for emergency situations
  • Generally 3 lanes instead of 2 (but not always)
  • The junction markers are set at 1 mile instead of 1/2 mile
  • Entrance onto and off the carriageway is left only, some dual carriageways allow you to turn right across the oncoming traffic

Other points to note:

  • Even though there is still the same the upper speed limit be aware a lot of vehicles will be travelling at higher speeds
  • When planning overtaking manoeuvres, still prepare and execute in the same manner as dual carriageways however be aware of the extra lane to the right, for example vehicles moving back into lane 2 from lane
  • If you break down or have an emergency exit the vehicle immediately via the near side of the vehicle and wait safely behind the barrier away from traffic
  • When calling for assistance give as much information as possible about your location, see our blog on breakdown procedure here

For further information take a look at the highway code on the government site here or alternatively book onto one of our special motorway taster or refresher sessions here.

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