Hi there drivers, it’s Jim!
As some of you keen Marmalade blog readers will know, in the summer last year I got the opportunity to go out on the motorway for the first time with an instructor after passing my test. In my blog posts following up to my motorway debut, I was talking about my anxieties and concerns about having never driven on the motorway before – safe to say I was quite nervous! However, you would not believe how much the experience helped and put my mind at ease!
When we drivers pass our test, we are suddenly left to fend for ourselves on the road. Anyone remember that first ever drive on your own? It’s scary right – to longer have the comfort of your instructor beside you. Well, this is exactly how I felt when I thought about driving on the motorway. I’m so glad the rules have changed so that learner drivers will be able to practice on the motorway before they pass their test – as this was the experience I really could have done with! Even a year after passing my test, I still hadn’t driven on the motorway and the thought of it was just like that first drive on my own all over again!
Luckily Marmalade very kindly set me up with a motorway driving lesson to conquer my fears and finally get that motorway driving experience I had been after! You can check out the blog post and video from the experience here.
The first motorway drive – alone!
Since this experience, I have been out on the motorway several times and I really don’t know what all my worries were about! It’s not that different from driving on most dual carriageways, of which I was already so used to! The first time on the motorway after the experience with my instructor was still a little bit scary (naturally as it would be for anyone!) however the drive went very smoothly and I think that because I was so conscious of the fact I hadn’t had much motorway driving experience, I was actually a more careful and aware driver! I live in Brighton and don’t currently have a car so I don’t get to drive all that often, unfortunately, but I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at the thought of motorway driving now. Fears conquered!
If any of you out there are in a similar situation to that which I was in, then I would definitely recommend getting a motorway driving experience! But if like me you have passed your test and still haven’t been on the big, bad, scary 3-lane (or more) road, then reach out and find a local instructor. If you need any help or advice, you can check out Marmalade’s Young Drivers Guide!
What was I so worried about?
As natural an instinct it is to be nervous about driving on the motorway, now I just think of the motorway as a dual carriageway with an extra lane. I only use the middle and inner lanes for advancing and overtaking vehicles when it’s safe to do so. I also make sure that I’m constantly making observations as usual, but as I’m on the motorway (which is normally long straight roads), I can see more in my field of view, so I always try checking in the far distance, preparing in advance for any traffic build-ups or any problems with vehicles up ahead. This was the top tip my instructor gave me during one of my lessons. As with all experiences in life, driving is one of those things you get better at and constantly learn from with experience – and this is true for motorway driving too! Just think, when you get in a car with your parents and they’re driving down the motorway, do you get a sense of nerves off of them? Probably not! That’s because they’ve had years of practice, just like you one day will do too! Trust me, once you’ve driven on it once, you will have this massive rush of relief lifted off your shoulders – so what are you waiting for?
I hope this follow up-style blog post has helped some of you to get on the roads. As always, make sure you keep up with all of the social channels of Marmalade and me to keep in the loop and update us on how your driving journey is going!
And don’t forget – learners will soon be allowed on the motorway! This will hopefully take the pressure off of driving on the big bad roads.
Until next time, that’s all from me today! Remember to drive safe!