Before passing their tests, learners are not taught how to safely drive on motorways and as such, are typically unprepared for the perils of these roads. Car insurance for new drivers is normally more expensive as a result because insurers feel they are more high risk – but extra lessons via a Pass Plus scheme could lower premiums and make learners safer, more confident motorists.
Because motorway driving can sometimes be a baptism by fire for new drivers, insurethebox has put together a short, helpful guide on how to safely use these roads.
Safe motorway driving
When driving between cities or counties, using a motorway is sometimes inevitable. Although the idea can be intimidating, the general rules of the road still apply and most motorists already have this knowledge. It is also interesting to note that motorways are statistically safer than other types of road.
Usually, when a driver wants to enter a motorway, they signal their intention to do so and adjust their acceleration accordingly to match the speeds of the other cars on the road, preventing disruption to the traffic flow.
Motorists should keep left when driving, and only use the outer lanes to overtake other vehicles. When the manoeuvre is complete, they should return to the left hand lane.
It hardly goes without saying, but drivers should check their blind spots and give signals before changing lanes. Many motorway accidents would have been avoided if motorists had carried out the correct procedures.
Drivers are only able to exit a motorway using a junction. These are clearly marked with countdown markers, showing how many yards there are until the exit. Always try to be in the left-hand lane when exiting a motorway and signal in good time your intention to leave onto the slip road. Adjust speed accordingly and be ready to stop at traffic lights or a junction.
Although motorways are normally used for travelling long distances, driving for longer than two and a half hours without a break can be potentially dangerous and motorists should be sure to rest for 20 minutes so as not to cause an accident.
Preparing for a breakdown
If a car is well maintained and has adequate fuel, oil, water and air in its tyres, then breaking down will, hopefully, be unlikely – but any car can still suffer unforeseen problems in the wrong conditions.
If a vehicle is about to break down, the owner should pull over to the hard shoulder, stop the vehicle and then locate an emergency phone. These are always at half mile points along a motorway and will automatically report your position when used.
Once a call has been placed, wait near your vehicle at a suitable distance from the carriageway and the hard shoulder.
Earn bonus miles with insurethebox
Although learner drivers may soon have the opportunity to drive on these roads while taking their test, new drivers can apply for a Pass Plus course, which covers situations like motorway driving.
Passing these sessions with an approved instructor provides valuable experience and usually leads to insurers offering graduates cheaper car insurance rates.
Our telematics technology also means that drivers can gain Bonus Miles for driving on motorways. To find out more about our car insurance for new drivers policy, please click here.