A recent survey conducted by AA Driving School revealed that almost 50% of drivers have observed other motorists crossing the chevrons to re-enter a motorway after mistakenly taking the wrong exit. The study questioned 13,000 drivers about unusual driving behaviours they had witnessed on UK motorways.
Additionally, 49% of respondents reported seeing drivers using the hard shoulder when it was not allowed, and one in four had seen someone stopping on the hard shoulder to urinate. The survey also found that 57% of drivers are still unaware that learner drivers are permitted on motorways with a qualified instructor in a dual-control vehicle, even though the law was changed to allow this five years ago.
A significant 83% of drivers claimed they had never seen a learner on the motorway. Mark Born, head of instructor training at AA Driving School, suggested that “some learners may not be making full use of the law change.” He expressed hope that more learners would take motorway driving lessons to improve their confidence and experience with motorway etiquette, potentially reducing the number of middle-lane hoggers, tailgaters, and those stopping for a toilet break on the hard shoulder.
Five years ago, 22-year-old Finbar King became the first learner to have a lesson on a motorway when he drove on the M25 with an AA instructor just after midnight. He stated, “The motorway lessons helped to give me the confidence to drive on motorways after I passed my test.”
Approximately 10% of England’s motorway network consists of smart motorways, which use various methods to manage traffic flow, including converting the hard shoulder into a live lane. However, the construction of new smart motorways has been halted due to safety and cost concerns, and existing stretches will undergo a safety refit to provide more emergency stopping places.
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