Warwickshire – Motorways: The right way

Police and crime commissioner Warwickshire police Warwickshire


Rural roads aren’t the only challenge Warwickshire poses for new drivers. Did you know Warwickshire has more miles of motorway than any other county? So whether you love or hate driving on motorways, they’re going to be hard to avoid. Motorway driving can be intimidating, with lots of traffic and speeds of up to 70mph. But statistically, motorways are our safest roads. You can choose to drive on the motorway while you learn to drive, so long as you are with an Approved Driving Instructor in a car with dual controls. It’s a good way to build up experience with an expert beside you before facing a motorway on your own. After you pass, think about extra motorway lessons to really hone your skills.

Even if you don’t decide to take more instruction, it’s a good idea to have an experienced driver with you for your first few motorway journeys.


● Plan your route before you set off… Know which motorways you’ll be using, and which junctions you will join and come off at. If you miss your junction, don’t panic. Drive on to the next junction with a roundabout and turn around.

● Make sure you have plenty of fuel… There may be considerable distances between motorway services. Ideally have enough fuel to complete your journey before you join the motorway.

● Understand smart motorways… Smart motorways use traffic management methods to increase capacity and improve traffic flow at peak times. This may mean a temporary reduction in the speed limit, which will be indicated by speed limit signs on overhead gantries. If the limit is reduced, you should slow down and avoid changing lanes. Some smart motorways also use the hard shoulder as an extra lane to reduce congestion. Again, this will be indicated by signs.

● Know what to do in an emergency…If your car develops a fault, move calmly and carefully to the hard shoulder. Put on your hazard lights, move to safety away from traffic, and call for help. On a smart motorway when the hard shoulder is used as a traffic lane, park in an emergency refuge area. These are often painted orange to make them easier to spot.

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