As I have already blogged bout the madness of allowing fresh new drivers access to high speed roads when they have no training or experience, I thought I should share a bit of my knowledge and experience to help anyone with the basics.
Back in the 70’s and early 80’s the government Department of Transport used TV advertising space to give useful information in the form of guidance for various new (ish) road systems and things like Panda crossings. Quite why these have disappeared I don’t know but it is probably to do with money or the lack thereof.
One thing which would be useful and always will be as long as new drivers keep coming into being is motorway driving hints and tips, especially joining and leaving motorways. As there is no requirement for any formal training for motorway driving, experienced drivers often find that the joining and leaving lanes are not used properly due to that signal lack in any education.
Part one. Joining.
So, to begin this section I will start at the beginning with joining a motorway. From a roundabout, usually there is a section several hundred metres long before the adjoining lane, with short dashed lines, next to the motorway proper which is often two or three hundred metres long. The idea of these two sections is simple. The first allows nearly every vehicle on the road, apart from heavy lorries, to accelerate to the speed limit for their vehicle. This is important – note that you should use this to do that and not drive along with nary a care in the world and gazing at the scenery. The second section is where you assess the speed of the traffic on the motorway and adjust your speed to safely slot into a gap in the traffic at the same speed. Note that you will find it difficult to achieve this if you arrive at the end of the first section doing only 35 or 40mph if the motorway is full of drivers on the speed limit because you will likely run out of space to increase your speed before the joining lane runs out.
At this point if you haven’t got the speed to join safely do not, under any circumstances stop. I have seen this on a number of occasions because people don’t use their brains and translate what they are doing as an emergency. If, for whatever reason, you have run out of proper joining lane then carry onto the hard shoulder section and accelerate until you can join the traffic safely. If you stop you are more likely to cause others to crash trying to avoid your parked car.