Whether you’re only an occasional driver or a regular long-distance commuter, it’s highly likely that you’ve enjoyed or endured motorway driving at some stage during your life, with 69 billion vehicle miles clocked up on Great Britain’s major roads in 2018 according to the Department for Transport.
Great Britain’s motorway network spans 2,300 miles and millions of us use it every day, which means it’s absolutely vital that we all practice safe motorway driving. Following these tips on how to drive on the motorway, hopefully, our roads will become a safer place for everyone.
As well as suggesting some basic motorway driving tips, we’ll examine whether smart motorways are safe and look at some of the best cars for motorway driving.
It’s essential to understand how to drive safely on the motorway, and the Highway Code has a number of laws designed to protect all road users. Here are the key motorway driving rules:
The above are just some of the most basic motorway rules. They may seem obvious, but by sticking to these guidelines, you’ll be protecting both yourself and other drivers.
The idea behind smart motorways in the UK is to keep traffic moving smoothly via the use of variable speed limits, lane closures or the opening of the hard shoulder as an additional lane. They use CCTV, sensors and radars to analyse all the information and respond in real time so that drivers can be updated as quickly as possible.
A recent report on smart motorways from Highways England returned mixed results. It showed that, in some cases, the number of serious collisions had increased – and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has admitted he is “greatly concerned” by the number of incidents on the UK’s roads.
However, it was also revealed that the number of fatal accidents had fallen on six of the eight roads studied, while slight collisions were also less frequent. The government has recently announced plans to improve safety on smart motorways in the UK, while Highways England has published guidance on how to drive on a smart motorway.
Many people have a fear of motorway driving, so if that’s you, you’re certainly not alone. With a greater volume of traffic and vehicles travelling at higher speeds, it’s easy to see why a lot of people don’t feel comfortable on major roads. Here are a few motorway driving tips to help you become more confident:
It’s only natural to have a fear of motorway driving – plenty of people up and down the UK feel exactly the same way – but by gaining confidence you’ll soon become a better driver.
Motorway driving can feel like a real chore to many, but that doesn’t have to be the case if you have the right vehicle for the journey.
What is the most comfortable car for motorway driving?
If you have a particularly long trip ahead then perhaps you’ll want to prioritise comfort, in which case the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class can deliver this quality in spades. Their smooth, elegant rides mean you’ll feel perfectly at home behind the wheel, even if the traffic isn’t moving as swiftly as you’d like.
What is the most reliable car for motorway driving?
The last thing you need is to suffer a breakdown when you’re heading to work or taking a trip to visit some loved ones. Of course, sometimes issues crop up that are out of anyone’s control, but the Lexus GS, BMW 4 Series and Toyota Yaris are some of the more reliable cars and therefore less likely to let you down.
What is the safest car for motorway driving?
Everyone wants to feel safe on the roads, whether that’s on the motorway or on winding country lanes, and models like the Toyota RAV4, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz B-Class are at the top of the tree in this regard. In the driver’s seat of one of these, you’ll be able to take on any journey with that all-important peace of mind.
What is the most economical car for motorway driving?
If you’re someone who clocks up thousands of miles of motorway driving over the course of the year, you’ll be looking for the most fuel-efficient cars on the market. If that’s the case, models such as the Toyota Prius, Audi A4 or Toyota AYGO are ideal. They all offer superb MPG capabilities – good news for both your bank balance and the environment.
The best car for motorway driving really depends on what you’re looking for in a vehicle, but there’s certainly no shortage of options. Whichever model you choose, following some of our basic motorway driving tips will help make the roads a safer place for yourself and everyone around you.
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