Preparing to conquer my fears of the motorway
So recently I was contacted by Marmalade and asked my opinions about young drivers being able to drive on motorways as learners. This got me thinking and prompted me to consider my own personal experiences, which include me never driving on the motorway before.
I passed my practical test in May of 2015 and have had big breaks from driving due to living in Brighton where I don't need to have vehicle access. However the thought that I've never driven on the motorway before is still looming over me and the prospect that I'll have to drive on it for the first time one day scares me!
In response to this, Marmalade very kindly offered to set me up with a motorway driving experience! In a few days I will be going out in a car with an instructor and driving on the motorway for the first time in my life! The fact that I will be getting taught properly and sitting next to an instructor is putting me at great ease, but also takes me back to when I was first learning to drive with my instructor. If I'd have had the experience of learning to drive on the motorway when I was taking lessons, I wouldn't have anywhere near as many issues or concerns about it now!
What's worrying me the most?
So, as this is my pre-experience blog post I'm going to outline some of the worries and anxieties I've got about driving on the motorway, and then I can reassess them after my experience to see if anything has changed (which hopefully it will have)! Also it would be interesting to see if my concerns are similar to any of you guys, so make sure you get in contact and share your worries if you have them, and we can go through this experience together!
The first worry I have about motorway driving is quite simply how it's done - what are the rules? Subconsciously I've probably picked up a thing or 2 over the years being in the car with other people driving on the motorway, but that doesn't mean that as soon as I get behind the wheel I'll know what I'm doing! My greatest concern is about driving in the wrong lane or staying in a lane for too long - what lane is meant to be used for what?
Naturally another anxiety of mine is about the speed of the motorway! Thinking about merging onto traffic off a slip road is terrifying. Also, if you're not a confident driver on the motorway, then maintaining a constantly high speed and trusting yourself will probably be difficult for the first few times. Granted, the speed probably isn't that different from most dual carriageways, however you're now surrounded by many more lanes and a much larger volume of traffic!
I've got to do it at some point!
As a driver of several years, I'm now pretty natural at observing my surroundings and interpreting road signs and signals, but having never driven on a motorway before means that there might be new scenarios and signals that I haven't learnt to react to before, which also scares me and will be something that I'll very quickly have to adapt to!
I hope I've mentioned a few things that represent what most young drivers like myself feel about driving for the first time on the motorway. Fingers crossed this will be relatable with some of you! As I previously mentioned, if you have any questions or concerns of your own about motorway driving; or you just want to get involved in the conversation, feel free to contact me or the Marmalade team on our social media!
In the meantime, look out for my video update in a couple of weeks where I will be taking off the stabilisers and holding my own on Britain's finest motorways!
Drive safe and see you soon!