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Survivor guide: Merging onto a motorway

A-roads, B- Roads, side roads, dual carriageways. These can all be busy especially at rush hour. But, motorways are often busy all the time, even late at night. If you listen to the radio and traffic updates you more often than not hear about car accidents happening on motorways. These roads are usually the fastest roads so you need to be more aware when driving on them, especially when making your way onto them. Here is our survival guide to merging onto a motorway and how to avoid having a road accident.

Why is merging onto a motorway so dangerous?

When you merge onto the motorway you are very rarely coming from another motorway so the road you have been on prior to this will most likely have been quite a bit slower. This will mean that your brain needs to quickly switch from laid back, slower mode to alert and aware to join a busy flowing stream of traffic.

What do I need to do in order to avoid a road traffic accident?

The most important thing when joining the motorway is to always look around you to see what the other drivers are doing. That will give you a good indication of what you need to do next.

As well as this, you need to get up to speed as quickly as you can once joining the motorway. It isn’t good to break the speed limit on the motorway but at the same time going too slowly can also cause a bad car crash as the other road users will be doing the 70 mph, and may not be able to slow down or stop in time.  If someone is going slower in front of you to the point you are concerned about being behind them, then safely drive out into the middle lane and overtake.

What happens if I am involved in a car accident whilst merging onto a motorway?

The main thing to remember is if and when an accident happens, stay calm. If you can, bring your car to the hard shoulder to avoid any further road traffic accidents.

If the accident wasn’t your fault you may be able to make a road traffic accident claim. Contact Accident Advice Helpline to find out how you can and how much compensation you could claim.