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Motorway driving

Navigating Motorways: Tips for New Drivers

After passing your test you will reach a time when you feel ready and confident to face the motorways. This is an opportunity to improve your confidence with driving and your knowledge of the UK road system. These bigger roads are great connectors between large cities and towns across the country, however they can be daunting for new drivers. So, here are some of our handy tips to navigating motorways for new drivers.

Prepare for your journey

If you are venturing onto the motorways, chances are you are headed on a longer journey than usual. The best advice we can give you before setting out on the open road is to prepare for your journey. Carry out checks on your car before leaving. Some important things to check include, your tyre pressure, engine oil, lights, brakes and brake fluid, windscreen wipers and engine coolant level. This is particularly important when embarking on long journeys. keeping you and your passengers safe, preventing breakdowns, and acting as some added reassurance to keep you calm behind the wheel.

Complete a Pass Plus Course

As a new driver, and with motorways prohibited for leaner drivers, motorways are a new challenge. One of the most popular ways to learn the rules of motorway driving and gain some experience is to complete a Pass Plus course. This course can be completed after you have received your pink license. With the experience of an instructor to guide you, you will gain great additional driving skills, including navigating motorways. Our Pass Plus courses are available to book online, covering 6 modules and with no test or exam at the end!

Use your mirrors

As you will know from your driving lessons, your mirrors will be at the core of your driving. There are just as important, if not even more important, when it comes to motorway driving. With busy roads and fast cars you must stay vigilant, keep checking your mirrors and pay particular attention to your blind spots. Before changing lane and overtaking, always check behind your right shoulder to ensure the lane is clear and nobody is along side you.

Take Breaks on Long Journeys

Tiredness while driving can be fatal. Making sure you are well rested and hydrated is very important and will ensure your full concentration is focused on the road. When you start to feel tired, visit a service station and take a break. There are many service stations along the UK’s busiest motorways, and these can be easily accessed via an exit just off the main road. Take this time to eat some food and rest before starting your journey again.

Some of the biggest service stations around Greater Manchester include:

  • Birch Services on the M62
  • Sandbach Services M6
  • Burtonwood Services M62
  • Knutsford Services M6

Revise the motorway rules and road signs

If this is your first time venturing onto a motorway, it may be a good idea to look back at your notes from your theory test. Although, once you got that pass it feels a distant memory ago, it is always a good idea to read up on the rules just to prepare yourself. Remember, the national speed limit for motorways is 70mph and this is to be adhered to at all times.

Some notes to remember:

Motorway signals are used to be warn you of hazards and danger ahead. This could be a spillage in the road, traffic accident or road works where workers are in the road. These will also alert you to lane changes where a lane may have closed, and merging is required.

When joining the motorway on a slip road, you must give priority to existing motorway users.

Do not cross solid white lanes when joining the motorway.

Remain in the left-hand lane until you have matched the speed of other road users before considering overtaking.

Driver Safety

How To Keep your Learners Safe During their Driving Lessons

Are you ready to take out the next generation of learner drivers on their lessons? As driver instructors our number one priority, aside from getting learners passed, is road and driver safety. Passing on the wisdom and knowledge we have to keep our students safe on the road is so important to ensuring safer roads across the UK. At Beverly Slater we are passionate about quality and excellence amongst driving instructors. Here are some of our top tips to guarantee safety during these all-important driving lessons.

Get to know your Learners

Spending as much time with them as you will, you are bound to get to know your learner drivers. It helps to be both a friendly and encouraging face for them as they take on the challenge of learning to drive. This is also useful in keeping them safe. All learners are different and will have differing levels of confidence and anxiety. Quickly understanding the areas of which your individual learners feel anxious and begin to panic, will help to keep both them and you safe. As the instructor you can then spot the signs of panic on your leaner’s face and know when you may need to take over before panic turns into dangerous driving.

Managing Road Safety

In your position as instructor a lot of trust and responsibility lies within your hands. As your learner begins each lesson, ensure the instructions you have given them are clear. It may be worthwhile giving them a run down of each session, so they are prepared and feel less nervous.  As they begin to drive it is very important you keep your eyes ahead on the road and are thinking two steps ahead of your learner. Eventually, as they grow in confidence you will be able to demonstrate this to them, by giving them fewer directions and instead asking them to drive you to a known location.

Always be prepared to take over in the event of an unexpected hazard or distraction, causing your learner to panic. In this instance, make sure you explain to your learner why you had to step in and go over this with them in a safe space on the side of the road. Constantly communicating with your learners is the best way to help them learn.

Choose an Appropriate Route

As much as you want your learners to advance quickly and pass first time, each learner with various levels of experience will require a tailored learning experience. If you feel your learner has developed well and is growing in confidence – great, now is the time to get them on a different route, to challenge them. If they are yet to feel confident in driving the vehicle, keep your routes simple, until they feel ready. Do not push the learners to advance quickly as this will inevitably lead to anxiety and a lack of confidence. Anxiety and panic are a major cause of dangerous driving from learner drivers, so keeping this to a minimum for your learners is really important.

Busy city roads

Driving in Big Cities: Tips for New Drivers

Big cities can be a hugely daunting task for newly passed drivers. The inner roads of cities, like Manchester, can be very busy, particularly in the centre where you will come across buses, cars, taxis, trams, and pedestrians. It can be an overwhelming experience. As the big cities start to open up again, saying goodbye to lockdown restrictions, we thought this would be the perfect time to offer some of our tips for your excursions into your local city centre.

Be Prepared

Planning your journey, where you will park, and ensuring you know the best route to your destination will help to ease your nerves and build your confidence driving around inner cities. Entering a large city unaware of the congestion charges, traffic regulations and speed limits can make the experience stressful. Having prior knowledge of your route will certainly make you feel more comfortable and confident navigating these busier routes. With the inner cities usually congested, it is also a great idea to leave yourself plenty of time, so that you are not in a rush.

Drive Calmly and Observe

This may be easier said than done; keeping calm in inner cities will make driving a lot easier. Panicking will only affect your driving and could lead to getting lost, distracted, and causing a danger to other road users. If staying calm means taking it slow or removing distractions like turning off your radio – we very much recommend doing so. Safe driving is your priority. Remember to stay observant and aware of the vehicles and potential hazards around you; do not neglect your mirrors.

Do Not Panic if You Miss a Turning

Missing a turning is not the end of the world. Most inner cities are well connected, and an alternate route will be found. Alternatively, give yourself some time, pull over in a safe space, and find a safe way to head back on yourself.

Be Aware of Other Road Users

Cities are full of experienced road users, with bus drivers and taxi drivers knowing the city like the back of their hand, they can sometimes be frightening to approach as a new driver. Take it slow, check your mirrors, and follow the highway code. It is best to avoid crossing into the lane of other road users, giving little warning. Remember to leave space and indicate so they are aware of your movements.

Refresher Lessons with Beverly Slater

The pandemic has kept us inside for much longer than anyone could have anticipated, so you may have passed your test some time ago but have since been unable to get out on the road as a pink license holder. Taking to the roads on your own can be daunting. That is why, at Beverly Slater, we offer refresher driving lessons. These lessons can be tailored to you! Maybe you have lost your confidence with driving or feel as though you are not quite ready to take on the big motorways and roads around inner cities. Get in contact with us at Beverly Slater and we can tailor the refresher lessons to suit your experience and address your worries.

Top Tips for Learning to Drive Around Manchester

When it comes to learning to drive, all too often it is the idea of driving in busy built-up urban areas that scares new drivers. Whilst it is true that there are plenty of things that you may need to consider when driving around a big city like Manchester, there are several steps that you can take to make sure that your time on the roads is safe and as stress free as possible. Whether you are about to begin driving lessons in Manchester or have already passed your test, our helpful tips will help you to have more confidence driving around a busy town or city.  

Be aware

One of the best ways in which you can prepare yourself is to make sure that you are fully aware of your surroundings before you actually find yourself immersed in them. For driving in a busy city centre or built-up area it is important to think about the fact that you will most likely encounter cycle lanes, bus lanes, one-way streets and lots of stationary traffic that just doesn’t seem to move. Of course, there are also pedestrians who all too often will step out into the traffic in an attempt to cross the road when there really isn’t the gap in the traffic that they think there is. Remember to look for those all-important road signs which will help you navigate through a busy city centre.

Anticipate

When you are driving in a busier area there will be a lot more going on around you so it is important to anticipate everything that might happen. The traffic might stop and start a lot more you will need to keep your eye on the road in front of you for cars moving. You are also more likely to get people crossing the road or even opening doors of parked vehicles. All of this is not bad when it comes to building up your driving skills and, of course, your confidence.

The right instructor

The key to learning to drive and feeling confident in your abilities is finding the right instructor. You want to have confidence in the person who is teaching you to drive and know that they will go at a pace that suits you. With the right instructor you will learn the skills that you need to give you the confidence to drive around Manchester, or indeed any other large city.