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To be really terrified about driving on the motorway for the first time today?

(47 Posts)
navygravy Fri 27-May-16 08:24:10

Just me and the DCs, straight after school driving 100 miles to the coast?

Oh hell, I really should have gone out for a practice.

The roads are going to be really busy, I've never done a motorway slip road before and I feel a bit sick about it.


QuestionableMouse Fri 27-May-16 08:26:35

You'll be fine. I'm also driving on the motorway today though not for the first time.

What's scaring you? If you can cope with a duel carriageway then you can cope with the motorway I promise.

DoreenLethal Fri 27-May-16 08:28:10

To get onto the motorway - indicate right as soon as you are on the slip road from the roundabout/road you are joining from.

Look at the speed of the traffic and match yours to theirs.

Slow down to fit into a gap between two cars that are already on the motorway.

If there are really no gaps, just drive onto the hard shoulder - keep indicating and when there is a gap, move over and keep your speed matched to the rest of the traffic. This is not likely to ever happen though. Do not stop driving if there is no gap, that's when accidents happen.

To leave the motorway, indicate left at the blue three bar sign, making sure you are in the inside lane and then just drive off when the slip road opens up.

msrisotto Fri 27-May-16 08:30:09

Don't panic OP. Motorways are safer than other roads! Honestly, it's a doddle, there are no T junctions or roundabouts to worry about. Just driving forward in a straight line. You can do it smile

Sidge Fri 27-May-16 08:31:27

You'll be fine.

The motorways today will be like a car park, you'll probably join the slip road at 20 mph!

Motorway driving can be easier than normal driving - everyone is going in the same direction, there's no junctions, traffic lights etc. Just be aware of what's going on around you and use your mirrors a lot.

What route are you taking?

OddBoots Fri 27-May-16 08:31:42

There are some really good YouTube videos with some good information about motorways - This is a short but helpful one about joining a motorway and it should link to others if you want to see more.

Princesspeach1980 Fri 27-May-16 08:33:14

I used to be terrified of slip roads, but you do find that most drivers will try to make a gap, or move into the middle lane for you if it's busy. Just remember to check your blind spot for every slip road and lane change. It's scary how an entire car can disappear into your blind spot on the motorway and then appear out of nowhere when you check over your shoulder.

If you're feeling nervous once you're on, just tuck yourself in in lane 1 and follow the traffic, don't feel you have to lane switch.

Can you get a sneaky practice in today while the kids are at school, just on at one junction, off at the next and round the roundabout to get back on. Repeat a couple of times.

NeverInDoubt Fri 27-May-16 08:33:34

Omg no! Do not drive on to the hard shoulder!!!

yorkshireteaa Fri 27-May-16 08:33:41

You'll be ok! I only passed last year and was terrified about driving on the motorway but now I actually prefer it to normal driving!

Just stay in the left hand lane if you're nervous, make sure you know the route / have a sat nav and take regular breaks.


DailyMailAreAFuckingJoke Fri 27-May-16 08:35:24

You'll be fine. Just take it very steady. As others have said make sure you get your speed up on the slip road. It can be off-putting trying to join if the motorway is busy but do not make the mistake of slowing down and then trying to join whilst doing 40! Keep going but be prepared to brake and slow - it's a combination of indicators and intent. Make it clear in good time that you are going to move out to the right and join the lane. You'll find that 9/10 times the traffic will hang back a bit and a space will be created for you to slip in to.

If you aren't confident overtaking then stick to the inside lane. If you do overtake then remember to check your blind spot, indicate and change down before pulling out so that you have enough 'oomph' to increase your speed. The changing down part is pretty key if there is other traffic in the lane that you are joining.

Once you get used to it, motorway driving is much easier than country lanes or busy town/city centres. Good luck!

QuestionableMouse Fri 27-May-16 08:36:48

I second the don't drive on the hard shoulder advice!

firesidechat Fri 27-May-16 08:40:00

If there are really no gaps, just drive onto the hard shoulder - keep indicating and when there is a gap, move over and keep your speed matched to the rest of the traffic.

It should never be necessary to drive on the hard shoulder, ever. I've never seen it happen, unless there is congestion and the road signs say you can.

The hardest bit is joining the motorway and it's not as difficult as you think. Drivers on the motorway should be aware of drivers trying to join and the majority will give you space or move over for you. I'm not a massively confident driver, but I do enjoy motorway driving. It will be fine.

ChickyDuck Fri 27-May-16 08:42:44

I think the motorway is by far the easiest kind of driving! All you have to concentrate on is going steady and staying aware of what's going on around you. No traffic lights, roundabouts, fiddly corners, busses stopping and pulling out, kids running into the road etc. Just stay calm and take it steady, simples!! Good luck OP smile

Pteranodon Fri 27-May-16 08:44:57

Why the OMGs at the hard shoulder advice? What else would you do, in the very unlikely event that a gap didn't open up? You can't stop.

Thisismyfirsttime Fri 27-May-16 08:45:06

Jesus Christ, don't drive on the hard shoulder! If it is really so busy that there's no gap to emerge of course you dramatically slow down and stop, you don't just carry on driving fast along the hard shoulder! shock

OddBoots Fri 27-May-16 08:46:48

There are many entry slip roads where there is no hard shoulder straight away because of a bridge so even if it was the right advice (it isn't) it can give a false view.

DailyMailAreAFuckingJoke Fri 27-May-16 08:47:27

You shouldn't drive on the hard shoulder unless it is a smart motorway where you are specifically directed to use it. If this is the case then there will be huge signs above the motorway telling you to use the hard shoulder as an extra lane.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 27-May-16 08:48:05

I drive 20,000 miles a year and have done got 25 years. A large proportion on motorways. I have never had to drive on the hard shoulder to join a motorway. Why would you suggest to an already nervous op that this is likely to happen? hmm

Op motorway driving is easier than "normal" driving and, statistically, by far the safest.

You will be fine. Have a lovely time

firesidechat Fri 27-May-16 08:48:33

Jesus Christ, don't drive on the hard shoulder! If it is really so busy that there's no gap to emerge of course you dramatically slow down and stop, you don't just carry on driving fast along the hard shoulder! shock

I think that's worse than driving on the hard shoulder actually. Stopping on the slip road! Neither should happen. If there are no gaps, which is very unlikely, then adjust your speed and a gap will open up - a bit faster, a bit slower maybe, but don't stop.

DailyMailAreAFuckingJoke Fri 27-May-16 08:53:20

What BoP said. I am about to do 400 miles on various motorways this afternoon - it's fine. Mostly boring but fine!

Thisismyfirsttime Fri 27-May-16 08:54:10

I wouldn't suggest in normal conditions ever to stop. But the only scenario I can picture where a gap wouldn't open up would be in V slow moving traffic. In which case you'd treat it like joining a busy dual carriageway.

navygravy Fri 27-May-16 09:02:36

Thanks everyone, good advice. I'll watch the videos too

I only passed my test in Feb and kept meaning to book a motorway lesson.

I thought you'd all tell me I was being a nelly grin

brodchengretchen Fri 27-May-16 09:03:41

If you are a nervous driver perhaps it would be better for you keep off the motorways and stick to those roads where you could be more confident?

navygravy Fri 27-May-16 09:10:04

I considered it brodchen but I thought avoidance might reinforce my anxiety. Sometimes I find it best to just get the fuck on with it and put my big girl pants on even if I might shit them while changing lanes at 70mph

BitOutOfPractice Fri 27-May-16 09:10:21

I really disagree broad. Driving on motorways opens up boundless possibilities and really are safer and easier than other roads.

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