Prior to the law changing in 2018, the first time a full licence holder actually got to drive on a motorway was after they passed their driving test. For the vast majority, this meant their first motorway driving experience was very much on their own and without the tuition of a trained driving instructor, unless they took the Pass Plus course.
LDS offers bespoke motorway driving courses for drivers who wish to improve their level of skill, safety and confidence on these busy roads. We already help people from a range of backgrounds and driving experiences, including:
1. Newly Qualified Drivers – Those who have recently passed their driving test, and have little or no experience of driving on a motorway
2. Motorway Anxiety – Drivers who have a specific anxiety of using a motorway, which they want to overcome
3. Post Accident – Motorists who have been involved in a road traffic collision (either on or off a motorway)
4. Need To Use Motorways – Those who need to use the motorway more, and want to build their confidence and ensure their skills are up to scratch
Your Motorway Anxiety:
Motorway anxiety is much more common than most think. Despite, statistically, motorways being the safest of all UK roads, the speed, congestion and often complex junctions on motorways leaves many people dreading the thought of driving on them. This is why we offer our motorway course, designed for drivers who want to regain their confidence and freedom and take control of motorway driving, once and for all.
The first thing we do on all our motorway courses is to listen to you, discuss your anxieties, talk about things you’re ok with, and also things which really concern you about motorway driving. Listening means we can better tailor the training to your own specific needs.
During a course this is what we typically cover, although it does often vary from driver to driver:
1) How to safely enter and exit a motorway
2) Learning to safely manage speed on motorways
3) Anticipate the actions and intentions of other drivers
4) Route planning and journey preparation
5) Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
6) Observation and advanced planning
7) How to cope with and diffuse road rage on motorways
8) How to remain alert/deal with driver fatigue on a long journey
9) Dealing with adverse weather on a motorway
10) Rules and motorway signs
11) How to deal with a breakdown/emergency
Each course is tailored to your needs, so no two courses are the same. However, on a typical session, we will start with an informal chat about your experience, and your reason for the training. This enables us to get a better picture of your requirements. Then we will progress to cover the areas specific to you.
The law changed on 4th June 2018 to allow learner drivers to gain motorway experience before they pass their driving test. LDS are delighted that the change in law now allows us to add motorway driving to our syllabus. For our pupils, motorway driving is a natural progression from dual carriageway driving. Our focus will be on keeping the lesson real and looking at how to deal with different scenarios that may only be experienced on a motorway: multiple lane choices, overtaking larger/slower moving vehicles and reading road signs unique to the motorway network.
Should I take a motorway lesson?
Your driving instructor will make sure you have gained the road experience you need, including the ability to control a car at higher speeds, awareness and planning skills and general hazard perception before taking you on a motorway. You will have had the opportunity to practise these skills on a dual carriageway in preparation for your motorway drive and be ready for this next step in your learning. Your instructor will help you know when you are ready. Your instructor’s car will continue to show L plates.
What will a motorway lesson involve?
Your instructor will make the lesson relevant to your needs, talking with you about route planning and journey preparation, possibly covering your most likely first motorway drive. For example, the drive to university or a day out with friends to an amusement park or festival. This will help you plan for factors that may influence your journey, such as time of day or passengers.
How do you feel?
A motorway driving lesson is a chance to discuss how you may drive differently depending on the volume of traffic, weather or visibility. The topic of tiredness and recognising when your concentration is not 100% and how to then remain safe is also an important one to have, including how to plan for regular breaks and what to do if you begin to feel tired.
Your skill level
It’s likely that even with previous dual carriageway experience until you drive on a motorway you may not have had the option of lane 3, 4 or even lane 5! Your instructor will be guiding you on the best way to utilise the extra lanes so you can make safe progress when interacting with other motorway users, particularly when two motorways merge or separate.
Dealing with an emergency
It’s an opportunity to discuss what to do in an emergency or a break down on a motorway, as this can sometimes be a scary thing to experience, particularly if you are unsure what to do.
Motorway lessons are not compulsory. Whilst we recommend motorway driving lessons, it is entirely up to the individual. Make sure you feel ready within yourself!
As a provisional licence holder you will ONLY be allowed to drive on a motorway with a fully qualified driving instructor in a dual controlled car… so no practising with friends/relatives is allowed.