Before you drive on a motorway you should make sure you are in a fit state of health, and are well rested, not tired.
Fatigue is a major cause of accidents on the motorway, because of the nature of the road. Journeys can be long and monotonous.
If you do start to feel tired while you are driving, then you should pull in to the next service area, and have a rest. Maybe have a sugary or caffeine drink while you are there.
On the way to the service area, it might be wise to open a window to help keep you alert.
You will need maximum concentration to deal with higher speeds, and it is unwise to drive if you are distracted by emotional disturbances, such as when you are angry or upset. So make sure you are calm before setting off on your journey.
You should also have a complete up to date knowledge of the highway code and the rules and regulations of the motorway.
It might be wise to update your knowledge every now and then to make sure you know everything you need to keep your drive safe.
Your Vehicle Checks
You should also check that your vehicle is safe and road worthy.
Make sure all the exterior lights are clean and in good working order. Check the fluid levels, such as brake fluid, coolant and oil and make sure you have enough fuel. Ensure your windscreen washer is topped up, and that your windscreen wipers are functioning correctly.
Equally important is to check your tyres are legal. Check they have the correct tread depth, have no cuts or bulges, and that their pressures are correct. (You’ll find the information for your tyre pressures in your vehicles handbook). Remember to check your spare tyre.
Make sure your seatbelts, steering and brakes are in good working order, your instruments and warning lights function correctly, and ensure your windows, mirrors and number plates are clean, and that mirrors are correctly positioned.
Finally, it is essential that whatever you are carrying in your vehicle is securely fastened. Put items in the boot, rather than leaving them loose on the backseat, because in a high speed accident, they will be thrown forward at such a speed and force, they will be extremely dangerous.
The following are not allowed on the motorway:
- Horse riders
- Motorcycles under 50cc
- Agricultural vehicles
- Invalid carriages less than 254kg unladen weight
- Slow-moving vehicles with oversized loads – except with special permission
- Learner drivers – unless they are with a fully qualified instructor in a car with dual controls
Learn more about motorway driving: Motorways, An Essential Guide to Driving on the Motorway
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