Driving through roadworks on the motorway

Blog post posted on 22/06/16 |

Driving through roadworks can be nerve wracking. Narrower lanes, slow traffic and fraying tempers all add to the challenge. But as long as you drive carefully and at a steady speed your journey needn’t be stressful. Here’s some advice from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, to ensure your motorway journey through roadworks is as safe and stress-free as possible.

  • Ideally, you should check the status of any roads you plan to use beforehand. If there are significant amounts of repair works and you think you might get caught up in traffic consider taking a different route, even if it means covering a few more miles.
  • If there’s no alternative route, give yourself more time to travel and ensure you have plenty of fuel. Running out of fuel is one of the most common reasons for a breakdown on the motorway, so don’t risk running on a low tank.
  • Maintain a safe following distance of at least 2 seconds and if other traffic moves into your gap adjust it by slowing very slightly. You won’t add more than a couple of seconds to your journey.
  • Try and look as far ahead as possible. There may be a lane that’s restricted and marked off by cones. If it is safe to do so, merge in turn if vehicles are travelling at low speed.
  • Keep an eye out for any roadwork signs that give you particular instructions. There may also be a temporary maximum speed limit that you will need to adhere to.
  • Average speed cameras are also common where long term roadworks are in force – be prepared to slow down throughout. They are there for your safety and the safety of the workforce.

Richard said: “If you can see traffic building up then avoid switching lanes too often. Changing lanes on extremely busy roads will increase your chances of being involved in a collision and also slows down traffic flow.

“So long as you stay alert and plan ahead, your journey should be a safe and stress free one.”


Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety debates on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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