Tips for safer m'way


Driver tailgating on motorway

DRIVERS are putting themselves at risk on motorway journeys by tailgating, hogging the middle lane, undertaking or making late lane changes.

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist says the most frequent complaints from its members relate to tailgating, with speeding, failing to indicate and last-minute swooping across three lanes to leave the motorway also high on the list.

Although many risky actions are unintentional, GEM chief executive Neil Worth warns that they're still intimidating to others on the motorway.

"The potential consequences when something goes wrong are severe, whether a driver deliberately follows too close, or simply doesn't realise," he said.

"Our members regularly place being tailgated up there at the top of the list of annoying, unpleasant and dangerousthreatsthey experience on the road, and for good reason."

"Imagine a sudden problem ahead of you on a motorway. According to the Highway Code, if you're driving at 70mph you will need a minimum of 96 metres to come to a stop. This requires you to be alert and able to react immediately to the problem you've spotted ahead.

"Someone close behind you is much less likely to see the hazard you've seen, meaning they'll find they have no time and space to react - and risk running into the rear of your car before even starting to slow down.

GEM has issued the following five tips for safer motorway driving:

1. Always ensure you have time and space to stop safely. Leave a minimum two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.

2. In poor weather, double that gap to four seconds.

3. If you're concerned that someone is following you too closely, then leave plenty of extra room ahead of you so that you can lose speed gradually if you need to.

4. Drive in the left-hand lane unless you're overtaking. When you have completed the overtake, move back to the left-hand lane.

5. Watch out for the exit or interchange signs so you can be in the right lane in plenty of time before leaving the motorway.


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