Statistically motorways remain one of the safest road types in the UK, with millions of motorists using them safely every year1. However, high speeds and increased traffic levels mean that when mistakes do happen, the consequences can be far more severe than on smaller roads. What’s more, the introduction of smart motorways means there’s now more to learn for even the most experienced business driver.
Download our free posters to remind drivers of the best way to stay safe on motorways, or read our top tips below.
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Keep to the speed limits shown on the signs. Variable speed limits help to steady the flow of traffic and reduce stop-start traffic jams. You’ll often find that those who break the law and carry on as normal are often the ones who end up queuing for longer up ahead.
A hard shoulder is always identified by a solid white line. Do not use it if there’s a red X or if no speed limit is displayed above it.
Keep left unless overtaking. It’s a simple rule of the Highway Code but one which some drivers don’t always follow. Keeping left also helps traffic flow and can speed up your journey.
Know the smart motorway rules. A recent report by Brake found that 52% of drivers are unsure of the rules of smart motorways, proving more needs to be done to educate drivers. A great start is familiarising yourself with the guidance from Highways England on using them safely – click here to learn more.
Never drive in a lane closed by a red X. This sign indicates that a lane is closed to traffic and that there could be a hazard up ahead.
Broken down? Use the designated emergency areas. If the hard shoulder is being used as an extra lane, use the designated emergency areas for emergencies and call for assistance.
Keep safe. If your vehicle experiences difficulties exit the motorway at the earliest opportunity. If you break down, put your hazard lights on immediately.
Following these rules on motorways and smart motorways can help to keep traffic flowing and avoid dangerous situations before they develop – helping all road users to have a safer, smoother journey. At IAM RoadSmart we can help to make your fleet safer and more efficient on all road types, so if you manage a fleet and would like to train your drivers online or on-road, contact us today to find a solution that fits your business.