At 117 miles in length, the M25 motorway is also known as the London Orbital Motorway, because it completely encircles the city, going through several counties as it does so. Driving on the M25 is something some drivers try to avoid whenever they can, while others do it daily as part of their commute to work.
The M25 is known for becoming congested at times. However, you can make your journey easier and safer by following a few simple tips. We’ve compiled some here to help you safely reach your destination when you are driving on the M25.
Keep up to date with travel news for the area
Set your car radio to a local news channel so you can listen to traffic news on your journey. Make sure you listen to the travel news prior to leaving, too, or look up the latest news on the internet. This could prevent you from driving on the M25 and suddenly finding yourself at the back of a miles-long queue. By finding the latest news before you go, you may be able to plot an alternative route to get to where you are going – one that will be quicker and easier to complete.
Make sure your car is in roadworthy condition
We should all make some simple checks every time we go out to use our car. In practice, few of us do this every day. However, regular checks can make all the difference between completing your journey safely and increasing the risk of an accident.
For example, check the tyres and make sure the tread is not worn. If it is, get your tyres replaced. Worn tyres are a major cause of accidents, as they provide far less grip on the road. Checking your oil, water, and lights are also a good idea – simple checks that take only a few moments to complete.
Pay attention to the weather forecast
Bad weather can set in very quickly indeed. Fog, ice and frost, snow, and even heavy rain – these can all make driving on the M25 more dangerous. Make sure you keep up with the local weather via the Met Office website, which also includes alerts and severe weather warnings for all parts of the UK. Don’t travel unless you absolutely need to, when faced with a bad weather forecast.
If you are already driving on the M25 and you are caught out by a sudden change in the weather, slow down, use your lights, and be prepared to pull off at the next junction or services to wait it out if need be. This is far safer than trying to continue when the weather is getting worse and more dangerous to drive in.
Stay under the speed limit
Motorways are designed to make it easier and quicker to get to where you need to be. Cars have a maximum speed limit of 70mph on motorways, reduced to 60mph when towing a caravan or trailer. Other larger vehicles such as coaches and goods vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes are restricted to 60mph.
Remember, this is a maximum limit and not the speed you are required to drive at. In bad weather, or if there are other adverse conditions, such as roadworks, the speed limit will be lower. Stay alert and make sure you drive at a safe speed.
This covers all kinds of factors. For example, never drive when you are tired, and make sure you pull off for a break if you are feeling tired. Fresh coffee, a blast of fresh air, and a chance to walk around for a few minutes can all help enormously.
Planning for your journey can help reduce the odds of feeling tired when you drive. The Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours sleep before you drive, but they also provide seven other ways to help complete your journey safely.
You also need to remember the mirror, signal, and manoeuvre lesson you were taught when you learned how to drive. Do you ever get frustrated when someone else pulls out in front of you without indicating, perhaps causing you to brake as they do so? Not only is this inconvenient, it’s dangerous. Your indicators are there for a reason, and you should always remember to check the lanes are safe to move into, and to indicate your intentions, before you do anything else.
How safe are motorways?
Motorways are very safe, given the volume of traffic using them each day. The government released statistics for 2015 that revealed there were 110 fatalities in motorway accidents in that year. This data has been relatively consistent over time, and the volume of traffic on motorways increased by 2.6% that same year. We can all do our part to drive more safely and responsibly to help bring down fatalities and injuries even further. Driving on the M25 is largely very safe, but of course, if we all drive responsibly, it can be safer still. Becoming complacent is never a good idea, but many drivers are complacent and many accidents could easily be prevented if we were all more alert, more careful, and more considerate of other drivers.
If you were injured driving on the M25
If you are reading this because you have suffered injuries in an accident while driving on the M25, we may be able to help. If someone else caused your accident to happen, you have an opportunity to see if a no win no fee claim could be handled to seek compensation for your injuries. This means you’re never at financial risk, which will bring you peace of mind.
It’s easy to find out if you could do this. Just call 0800 689 5659 to speak to an advisor working for Accident Advice Helpline. With a team of expert personal injury lawyers ready and waiting to try and help you, it makes sense to get in touch as soon as you can.