Safety concerns force thousands of motorists to avoid the motorway network, RAC survey shows
Boring motorways encourage drivers to take other routes
UK motorways are no-go zones for drivers worried by the speed of traffic, risk of collision and their lack of confidence, the RAC says. Other drivers, in contrast, simply find such routes “boring”.
The breakdown specialist's survey shows that 1% of respondents - equivalent to about 380,000 motorists – “never” use the motorway network. Of these, 35% admit the reason is they do not “like the idea” rather than citing a lack of need to venture onto main roads.
In contrast, 22% of survey respondents - equivalent to more than 8 million motorists – “rarely” use motorways typically due to a lack of need. However, close to 33% “dislike” the network and prefer someone else to take control when it cannot practically be avoided.
Motorways statistically safer than other routes
The RAC's Simon Williams says: "Despite motorways statistically being some of our safest roads many people still seem to rely on partners, friends and family when they need to use one. And with only 29% of reluctant motorway drivers saying they are open to taking motorway lessons, it seems that for the remainder a 3 or 4-lane road with speeds of up to 70mph is, sadly, just a step too far”.
Mr Williams continues: "The message to them has to be: with the right instruction and advice, plenty of care and practice, confidence in motorway driving can easily grow”.
He concludes: “At the same time, it is also important - from a road safety perspective - that people drive within their comfort zones so for some it may be best to stick to local roads where they are most confident."
AA motorway driving tips
The AA has published a series of motorway driving tips.
- “Keep left unless overtaking – return to the left-hand lane after overtaking, not forgetting to indicate and check your blind spot.”
- “Follow the 2-second rule – give yourself enough time and space to react.”
- “Adjust for the conditions – slow down and follow the 4-second rule if the road is slippery or visibility is poor.”
- “Control your speed.”
- “Indicate in good time before changing lanes.”
- “Check your mirrors often – your situation will change quickly on the motorway.”
- “Take extra care around trucks and other large vehicles – they have bigger blind spots and slower reaction times.”
- “Anticipate what's coming next by sweeping the road ahead visually – look 2 seconds ahead, 4 seconds ahead, and 12 seconds ahead, and check your mirrors.”
- “Only use the hard shoulder for emergencies.”
- “Take regular breaks – about every 2 hours, to stop yourself becoming tired behind the wheel.”