Motorway traffic is faster and leaves you less time to react. You need to anticipate what other drivers are doing and make good decisions about speed and lane changes.
Where should you practise this?
- Choose a motorway with a speed limit of at least 80 km/h.
- Start off driving at a time where there isn't too much traffic, so you can get up to higher speeds easier.
Before you start
- Plan your route so you know where you're going
- Practise getting off and on the motorway regularly, using off-ramps and on-ramps.
Merging onto a motorway
- Use the whole length of the on-ramp or slip-lane to build up speed to match the traffic on the motorway.
- Check your mirrors to pick a safe gap and indicate for three seconds.
- Check mirrors again and bind spots.
- Steer into your chosen gap.
Driving on a motorway
- Assess the weather, road and traffic. Adjust your speed to suit the conditions.
- Use a safe following distance: 2 seconds in good conditions; 4 seconds in poor conditions.
- Stay within your own lane, unless you're changing lanes.
- Position your car in the centre of your lane whenever it’s safe to do so.
- Use the left lane unless you're passing another vehicle, preparing to turn right or the left lane is closed.
- Scan 12 seconds ahead and regularly check your mirrors so you’re aware of traffic ahead of you and around you.
- Look out for signs showing speed limits, exits, and lane closures.
When driving on a motorway never:
- stop your car, except in an emergency
- make a U-turn
- stop to pick up or drop off passengers
- stop or reverse if you miss an exit. Instead, just drive on to the next exit.
Exiting a motorway
- Look out for road information signs that’ll tell you how far away an exit is and which lane to use.
- Make sure you get into the correct lane with plenty of time to prepare for the exit.
- Indicate left for at least 3 seconds before exiting.
- Keep your speed up to match the traffic flow on the motorway until you're on the off-ramp.
- Steer smoothly onto the off-ramp and adjust your speed to suit the new road and traffic conditions.
Using passing lanes