Motorway driving

More helpful hints and tips for after you have finished your Driving Lessons in Newcastle.

Opening the M1Faster, tougher, safer!  

Motorways are designed to help you get your destination as quickly and safely as possible.

However, that speed and safety comes with a price attached. Long journeys on motorways can zap your concentration and subject your vehicle to more wear and tear than the average ‘Sunday afternoon drive’.

Motorways are probably our safest roads, but when accidents happen they are usually quite severe due to the higher speeds involved. Motorway accidents often involve loss of life but this risk can be greatly minimised by following the advice given below.

This section contains general advice for motorway driving.

In addition to the main info, there is an Article ‘Motorway Madness’, first published in 2003 (Driving Magazine), which covers much of the general advice, but has some additional information about weather, speed and other matters.

The beginning

Britain’s first motorway, the Preston Bypass, was opened on December 5th 1958 by the then Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan; four hours after the opening ceremony, Harold Bradshaw earned a place in UK motoring history when he became the first recorded motorway casualty after falling from a bridge above the road.

Hot on the heels of the Preston Bypass came the M1, the first section, just over 61 miles long was opened in 1959 – this was the start of the ‘backbone’ that would bridge the great North/South divide; unintentionally, it also provided a test track for high-performance sports cars!

Motorways and you

There are few things that you need to know before setting off on a motorway journey. The first is whether or not you are actually allowed on the motorway.

Not allowed:

MI signIf you plan a Sunday afternoon walk, or a horse ride on the motorway, I’m afraid you’re out of luck… Nor will you be able to ride your motor scooter (or bike) if it engine is less than 50 cc, or go for a spree on your tractor!

Learner drivers (cars and motorcycles) are also prohibited from motorways and with motorways becoming ever more complex all new drivers should take training with a professional instructor to learn about motorway driving.

You and your car:

It’s commonsense to have a vehicle that is fit for the road; however, this becomes even more important when you are contemplating a motorway journey. Driving at higher speeds over long distances is sure to test the weakest components of your vehicle. You can guarantee that if your car is about to break down it will do so miles from anywhere on a windy wet stretch of motorway – at night!

In the same way that your car needs to be in good condition, you also need to be fit and alert. The higher speeds on motorways mean that things can happen very quickly – a moment’s lapse of concentration could have dire consequences.

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