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While your driving lessons will cover the vast majority of what you need to know to stay safe on the roads, they won’t often cover driving on the motorway. This is something that frightens a lot of new drivers. Motorway driving is actually fairly simple, but you must stay alert at all times as you will travel at high speeds for the majority of your time on a motorway.

So, what do you need to know to stay safe? Here we will look at a few tips that will help you get to grips with motorway driving faster.

Stay Left

There are three lanes on the motorway. The left-hand lane is often called the slow lane, though this is something of a misnomer. You should stay in this lane as much as possible, both because it’s safer and because it positions you well for any turn-offs that you need to make.

The other two lanes on the motorway are primarily for overtaking. Head to the middle lane if you get stuck behind a vehicle that isn’t travelling at the speed limit, but make it a point to head back into the left-hand lane as soon as you can. The same goes for the right-hand lane, often called the fast lane. Getting to grips with how and when to change lanes is key in motorway driving.

Take Breaks

While you will travel faster on the motorway, you’ll also find the journey is not punctuated with junctions, corners, and other issues that keep you paying attention.

It is all too easy to get too relaxed while driving on the motorway, which presents a serious danger. If you start feeling drowsy, pull into the nearest service station and rest. Get a coffee or take a nap in your car. Falling asleep on the motorway, even for only a couple of seconds, can cause serious accidents.

Joining the Motorway

Don’t panic when driving down the slip road that leads into the motorway. The key is to match your speed to the cars currently on the motorway. This will ensure you don’t force any cars behind you to brake suddenly when you pull in.

Use your mirrors so you know when it’s safe to pull into the lane. Signal so that other motorway users know your intent. In most cases, other drivers will make space for you to join the motorway. You should only slow down if that doesn’t happen.

Take Care of Your Mirrors

You will use your mirrors constantly while driving on the motorway. You need to check them whenever you join the motorway and every time you need to overtake another vehicle.

Make sure they’re clean and in good working order before you head out on your journey. A faulty mirror makes you less safe and raises the chances of an accident occurring.

The Two-Second Rule

Apply the two-second rule to maintain the correct distance from other cars on the motorway. Watch the car in front and start counting the seconds when it passes a landmark, such as a lamppost. You should pass that landmark two seconds after the car in front of you. Any less, and you’re too close.

Remember that you’re travelling at high speeds, so you need a fair amount of distance between you and the car in front so you have room to manoeuvre if you need to come to a stop.