About driving

Key driving skills

Motorway driving

Motorways are designed so that traffic can flow with as little disruption as possible. On a motorway, you shouldn't come across things that hold up traffic flow, such as:

  • intersections
  • turning vehicles
  • parked vehicles
  • pedestrians
  • cyclists.

Although the number of 'everyday' driving hazards are reduced on motorways, you still need to drive carefully as motorway traffic usually moves very quickly.

Motorway signs

Most motorway signs are green with white around the edges.

Pay special attention to signs that show the beginning and end of the motorway, as well as signs that show particular exits.

Motorway signs

Motorway signs

Safe driving on motorways

When driving on a motorway:

  • keep left, unless you are passing
  • watch for exit signs
  • get into the correct exit lane in plenty of time
  • signal for at least three seconds before you change lanes
  • you must not stop your vehicle, except in an emergency
  • you must not make a U-turn
  • you must not stop to let down or pick up passengers
  • if you miss your exit, don't stop and reverse – instead, drive on to the next exit.

Breakdowns on motorways

If you break down on a motorway:

  • indicate and steer your vehicle as far off the road as possible – don't stop suddenly
  • lift up the bonnet and boot and, if possible, hang something white on the driver's door handle or window – this will show you need help
  • turn on your hazard lights or use a safety triangle to warn approaching traffic
  • at night, turn on the inside light
  • if you don't have a mobile phone and it isn't safe to walk to a telephone, stay in your car and wait for help
  • don't stand on the motorway
  • if you need help from other drivers, leave plenty of space for them to stop – remember, vehicles travel fast on a motorway and it will take a while for them to slow down.

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Last updated: 1 October 2009