With ongoing repairs taking place all over the UK this Bank Holiday weekend, Peter Rodger, IAM’s head of driving standards, reveals 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
2. Changing when you travel can help avoid queues – most people will be trying to travel on Friday evening, so Saturday morning may well be much quieter and less stressful. But that does mean foregoing a lie-in…
3. 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 so don’t risk running on a low tank.
4. Follow the instructions contained on the ‘roadworks ahead’ sign – these will give you instructions to follow particular safety measures. The signs usually start well before you reach the road works.
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
8. Give motorcyclists plenty of room as they may need to avoid debris, potholes or grit caused by road works.
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 in order to smooth traffic flow and protect the workforce.
With extra signage, temporary speed limits, narrow lanes and extra lighting it’s easy to see that motorway road works can cause confusion and frustration. But keeping a clear head, staying alert and planning ahead will ensure your journey goes like a breeze. And enjoy your Bank Holiday break.