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Motorway driving

2004-12-01 12:54

But be aware: Sustained motorway driving can make you less aware of speed. Check your speed regularly and, if there's not too much traffic, use your car's cruise control and/or speed limiter (where fitted).

  • Leave a greater gap between vehicles on motorways than on other roads. At higher speeds, stopping distances increase dramatically.
  • Large vehicles can obstruct your view ahead. Change lanes or drop back so that you can see what's happening further up the road.
  • Stay alert. Motorway driving is boring and it's easy to lose concentration. Tiredness is a major cause of accidents so take a 15-minute break every two to three hours. Your reaction time is seriously lengthened when you are tired.
  • Avoid middle-lane driving - it prevents proper use of the left lane by other drivers and thereby increases congestion. The middle and right lanes are for overtaking, and you should move left again as soon as possible after overtaking.
  • Look well ahead for slow-moving traffic or bunching up. Leave plenty of space to slow down. 
  • Don't rubberneck at accidents. Drivers slowing down to look at crashes frequently have, or cause, their own. 

If the vehicle behind is driving too close, move over and let it pass. Don't try to prevent he or she from getting past even if they are exceeding the speed limit. You're not a cop, and it may well be a doctor or law enforcement officer in an unmarked car on their way to an accident - maybe even on their way to YOUR house.

Stopping on the motorway hard shoulder is very dangerous; you should only stop in an emergency or if directed to do so by signs.

However, if you DO have to stop park as far to the left as possible, turning the wheels to the left (so that if your car is hit from behind it will not roll into the traffic).

  • Switch on your hazard warning lights.
  • In poor visibility, switch on your parking lights.
  • Get out of the vehicle, using left-hand doors.
  • Lock all doors except for the front passenger door.
  • Walk to the nearest emergency telephone (follow the arrow signs on marker posts at the edge of the hard shoulder).
  • Face the oncoming traffic while using the phone. If you have a mobile telephone, contact the police or your motoring organisation.
  • Return and wait near your vehicle. Stand far back from the carriageway and hard shoulder. If possible, climb up onto any embankment.
  • If you are alone and feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle. Sit in the front passenger seat with the seat belt on and lock the doors until the danger has passed. If you own a mobile telephone, always take it with you.
(adapated from http://www.bbc.co.uk for South African conditions). Motorways are statistically the safest roads as all traffic is travelling in the same direction and head-on collisions are therefore minimised. But due to the high speed and volume of traffic, any accidents are usually serious.

But be aware: Sustained motorway driving can make you less aware of speed. Check your speed regularly and, if there's not too much traffic, use your car's cruise control and/or speed limiter (where fitted).

  • Leave a greater gap between vehicles on motorways than on other roads. At higher speeds, stopping distances increase dramatically.
  • Large vehicles can obstruct your view ahead. Change lanes or drop back so that you can see what's happening further up the road.
  • Stay alert. Motorway driving is boring and it's easy to lose concentration. Tiredness is a major cause of accidents so take a 15-minute break every two to three hours. Your reaction time is seriously lengthened when you are tired.
  • Avoid middle-lane driving - it prevents proper use of the left lane by other drivers and thereby increases congestion. The middle and right lanes are for overtaking, and you should move left again as soon as possible after overtaking.
  • Look well ahead for slow-moving traffic or bunching up. Leave plenty of space to slow down. 
  • Don't rubberneck at accidents. Drivers slowing down to look at crashes frequently have, or cause, their own. 

If the vehicle behind is driving too close, move over and let it pass. Don't try to prevent he or she from getting past even if they are exceeding the speed limit. You're not a cop, and it may well be a doctor or law enforcement officer in an unmarked car on their way to an accident - maybe even on their way to YOUR house.

Stopping on the motorway hard shoulder is very dangerous; you should only stop in an emergency or if directed to do so by signs.

However, if you DO have to stop park as far to the left as possible, turning the wheels to the left (so that if your car is hit from behind it will not roll into the traffic).

  • Switch on your hazard warning lights.
  • In poor visibility, switch on your parking lights.
  • Get out of the vehicle, using left-hand doors.
  • Lock all doors except for the front passenger door.
  • Walk to the nearest emergency telephone (follow the arrow signs on marker posts at the edge of the hard shoulder).
  • Face the oncoming traffic while using the phone. If you have a mobile telephone, contact the police or your motoring organisation.
  • Return and wait near your vehicle. Stand far back from the carriageway and hard shoulder. If possible, climb up onto any embankment.
  • If you are alone and feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle. Sit in the front passenger seat with the seat belt on and lock the doors until the danger has passed. If you own a mobile telephone, always take it with you.
Motorways are statistically the safest roads as all traffic is travelling in the same direction and head-on collisions are therefore minimised. But due to the high speed and volume of traffic, any accidents are usually serious.

But be aware: Sustained motorway driving can make you less aware of speed. Check your speed regularly and, if there's not too much traffic, use your car's cruise control and/or speed limiter (where fitted).

  • Leave a greater gap between vehicles on motorways than on other roads. At higher speeds, stopping distances increase dramatically.
  • Large vehicles can obstruct your view ahead. Change lanes or drop back so that you can see what's happening further up the road.
  • Stay alert. Motorway driving is boring and it's easy to lose concentration. Tiredness is a major cause of accidents so take a 15-minute break every two to three hours. Your reaction time is seriously lengthened when you are tired.
  • Avoid middle-lane driving - it prevents proper use of the left lane by other drivers and thereby increases congestion. The middle and right lanes are for overtaking, and you should move left again as soon as possible after overtaking.
  • Look well ahead for slow-moving traffic or bunching up. Leave plenty of space to slow down. 
  • Don't rubberneck at accidents. Drivers slowing down to look at crashes frequently have, or cause, their own. 

If the vehicle behind is driving too close, move over and let it pass. Don't try to prevent he or she from getting past even if they are exceeding the speed limit. You're not a cop, and it may well be a doctor or law enforcement officer in an unmarked car on their way to an accident - maybe even on their way to YOUR house.

Stopping on the motorway hard shoulder is very dangerous; you should only stop in an emergency or if directed to do so by signs.

However, if you DO have to stop park as far to the left as possible, turning the wheels to the left (so that if your car is hit from behind it will not roll into the traffic).

  • Switch on your hazard warning lights.
  • In poor visibility, switch on your parking lights.
  • Get out of the vehicle, using left-hand doors.
  • Lock all doors except for the front passenger door.
  • Walk to the nearest emergency telephone (follow the arrow signs on marker posts at the edge of the hard shoulder).
  • Face the oncoming traffic while using the phone. If you have a mobile telephone, contact the police or your motoring organisation.
  • Return and wait near your vehicle. Stand far back from the carriageway and hard shoulder. If possible, climb up onto any embankment.
  • If you are alone and feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle. Sit in the front passenger seat with the seat belt on and lock the doors until the danger has passed. If you own a mobile telephone, always take it with you.

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