Road Safety News

Allow learners on the motorway: IAM

Tuesday 18th June 2013

Young drivers must be allowed to gain early motorway driving experience, according to road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

With a green paper on learning to drive due to be published later this month, the IAM is calling on the Government to ensure that any new system includes allowing supervised L drivers to gain experience on motorways.

The IAM points out that motorways are the safest roads and many countries including Australia and the USA already allow learner drivers to use them, often with few restrictions.

Providing this experience would help newly qualified drivers avoid some of the most common mistakes such as driving too close and centre lane hogging, suggests the IAM.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Human error is the main contributory factor in 71% of injury crashes on motorways and surveys suggest drivers often lack confidence on motorway use.

“This measure, plus widely available refresher and modular courses on motorway driving, should be encouraged to help everyone use them from a position of knowledge and confidence. The outcome should be fewer incidents, fewer injuries and fewer delays.”

For more information contact Tanvir Nandra, the IAM, on:


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The most common mistakes are tailgating (driving too close) and possibly the inability to stop or swerve should anything happen in front. The other is middle lane hogging causing others to avoid them when overtaking, perhaps on the inside lane or moving over after the overtake from the outside lane across the offending driver and into the nearside lane to show annoyance. However, the greatest danger is driving at a higher speed and in heavier traffic conditions which requires much more attention and discipline and sharper responses.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (5) | Disagree (1)

According to Mr Best's quote, a quarter of motorway crashes are therefore down to something other than human (presumably the driver's) error - so what is it?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)