Posted on: 28/05/2015
With ongoing repairs taking place across UK motorways, the IAM has provided top tips for how you can make your motorway journey a safe one.
1. Check for road status and traffic updates before you travel. If you know of any roadworks that will affect your journey consider avoiding this route if you can - even if it means covering a few more miles; it could well be faster. Current motorway roadwork information is easily available on the internet.
2. Changing when you travel can help avoid queues as well - most people will be trying to travel on Friday evening, so Saturday morning may well be much quieter and less stressful.
3. Give yourself more time and make sure you have plenty of fuel in case roadworks increase your journey time. Running out of fuel is one of the most common breakdowns on the motorway and sitting in queues obviously uses fuel, so don’t risk running on a low tank.
4. The 'roadworks ahead’ sign will give you instructions to follow particular safety measures and a temporary maximum speed limit may be in place. The signs usually start well before you reach the road works. Also be aware of road workers and works vehicles.
5. Look as far ahead as possible as one or two motorway lanes may be restricted and marked off by cones. If it is safe to do so, or when lanes are not too congested, merge in turn if vehicles are travelling at low speed.
6. Watch in your mirror, and if the traffic behind seems to be slow to react to what you are doing as you approach a queue slow down earlier, so that they have more time to deal with it.
7. If traffic is building up avoid switching lanes often - changing lanes increases your chances of being involved in a collision, especially where there is little space between vehicles that are queued behind one another. Always check your mirror and blind spot when changing lanes in a queue - motorcyclists may be filtering through between the lanes.
8. Take extra care when driving close to motorcyclists as they are vulnerable and may need to avoid debris, potholes or grit caused by road works. Give them plenty of room, and have a good gap between you and a bike in front of you.
9. In narrow lane sections expect HGVs and other large vehicles to straddle the lane markings. They have no choice, so never force your way past.
10. Average speed cameras are now common in many long term road works and they are very effective at smoothing traffic flow and protecting the workforce. Most drivers are very compliant so be prepared to slow down throughout the works and take care when returning to the original speed limit.
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