If you frequent the M50 then you may already know how it can be an emotional adventure. Being from Kerry, the closest I came to a motorway before my migration to Dublin was a road wide enough where cars could pass each other without having to scrape the ditch. Like most drivers with a full driving licence, the only training I got for motorway driving was all in theory. Albeit we live in a small country with few motorways, it's still an important skill to have for when you venture onto one.
As I gradually began to use the M50 more often I noticed several people using the middle and outside lanes for no reason. I certainly don't claim to be a better driver than anyone else but I do think that some people don't seem to be aware of how to drive on a motorway. There is of course the small percentage of drivers who are aware of the motorway rules but don't care and that's a different problem.
Motorway Ahead Sign
Similar to my previous blog
where I wondered to what extent we are prepared for dealing with emergency vehicles on our roads, I began to wonder to what extent we are trained or prepared for motorway driving. It's even a rule of the motorway that no L drivers are allowed. To answer my own question, the only compulsory training we get is all in theory. Is that enough?
We put out a poll out on Twitter a few weeks back asking our followers what driving habits annoyed them the most. Middle lane hogging took the lead with tailgating coming in at a close second. Read the blog on middle lane hogging here and see why it can also be extremely dangerous.
There are several important rules for driving on the motorway, all of which can be found summarised nicely on the Road Safety Authority's page
. The rule regarding each lane and it's purpose is the one that several drivers seem to disobey. The purpose of each lane is outlined below.
– You should always use this lane unless you are overtaking. It is the 'normal' driving lane.
- You should only drive in this lane if you are overtaking. Once you are finished overtaking and it's safe to do so, you should move back into Lane 1. You can also move into Lane 2 to allow space for vehicles coming onto the motorway.
- You should only use this lane if traffic in lanes 1 and 2 is moving in queues and you need to overtake or make room for merging traffic. You should then make your way back to lane 1 if it is safe to do so. (More info)
Motorway Lane Numbers
Words by Niall