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Ask a Driving Instructor

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Can you help me to feel safe on motorways?

Q: I hate busy motorways and fast dual carriageways because I feel penned in and I'm scared there will be an accident. I'm particularly nervous when cars cut in close after changing lanes and when lorries pass me because they feel so close. Is there anything I can do to feel safer? .
lorries on a motorway A: I think you would feel a lot safer if you were able to manage the space around you successfully. Keep at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front and when cars cut into this space, drop back immediately.

You should also try to keep space to the sides of you. Always have an escape route in mind. If you are in the left hand lane, the hard shoulder is an obvious space you could drive into in an emergency. When driving in the other lanes, try to keep space on at least one side of you. Time when you pass other vehicles so you do not become the meat in a sandwich.

On very busy motorways with cars all around, try to position yourself diagonally with the vehicles in the lanes next to you. This will help ensure that you don’t get side-swiped if they change lanes suddenly and also keep you out of their blindspots.

Before changing lanes, make sure you leave your signal flashing for a few seconds so other cars have a chance to notice it and keep the situation safe for you. Ideally, before moving into a lane on your right, you should make sure the next lane on the right is also clear because if there is a car there, you might both move into the lane between you at same time.

Check your mirrors frequently so you are not surprised when people overtake you and if you see a large vehicle approaching, grip the wheel tighter in case you get caught in their slipstream. Also double check you are correctly positioned in your lane to allow them enough room to pass safely.

Look a long way ahead for problems that might have a knock on effect on the traffic around you and respond to hazards early to maintain a safety bubble of space around you at all times. If things go wrong, the space will give you time to think.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.