Dream car or Budget, which comes first? Tell us your thoughts | No thanks
Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - _ORB_

First of all, unless coming up to my motorway exit, I never drive in what has become lane 1, and usd to be the hard shoulder.

I check everything I reasonably can on the car weekly, travelling or not.

What do others do to stay safe/?

Yesterday I was in slow traffic betweeen J21 and 27 eastbound on the M25 and was nicely surprised at the good level of driving and attention to speed limits. It was slow for a while, " no ducking and diving" not even on the infamous J23 exit!

I adjusted my normal route from Colchester to Ealing and back because of congestion on the North circular/A41 Hendon way a couple of weeks ago.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - bathtub tom

First of all, unless coming up to my motorway exit, I never drive in what has become lane 1, and usd to be the hard shoulder.

I believe that's what's called a lane hogger. I lost count of the number I undertook on the M1 yesterday, several in lane 3 with two empty lanes to their left!

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - _ORB_

First of all, unless coming up to my motorway exit, I never drive in what has become lane 1, and usd to be the hard shoulder.

I believe that's what's called a lane hogger. I lost count of the number I undertook on the M1 yesterday, several in lane 3 with two empty lanes to their left!

Ah...,, but in lane 2 on a 4 lane highway with lots of hgvs in lane 1 (This is the M25 I am talking about!) and no I don't stick in 3 or 4 as there are people who still don't know about 70mph limits..

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Avant

I don't think someone could be called a lane-hogger in lane 2 of 4, unless lane 1 is largely empty.

On the M25 where you were, there are always lots of HGVs in lane 1, and there's a reasonable argument that it's safer to stay in the same lane rather than endlessly pulling out and in.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Sofa Spud

On busy motorways, lane hoppers are a worse problem than lane hoggers. On a 4 lane smart motorway, such as most of the M25, I do venture into lane 1 where I know there's no junction for some distance and traffic is light (relatively!).

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Engineer Andy

First of all, unless coming up to my motorway exit, I never drive in what has become lane 1, and usd to be the hard shoulder.

I check everything I reasonably can on the car weekly, travelling or not.

What do others do to stay safe/?

Yesterday I was in slow traffic betweeen J21 and 27 eastbound on the M25 and was nicely surprised at the good level of driving and attention to speed limits. It was slow for a while, " no ducking and diving" not even on the infamous J23 exit!

I adjusted my normal route from Colchester to Ealing and back because of congestion on the North circular/A41 Hendon way a couple of weeks ago.

I wasn't aware that the A1 (South Mimms) junction was 'infamous' - the only 'memorable moment' I recall (as a local) was when someone was caught by Plod peeing on the verge at the slip on from the roundabout - featured on Police Camera Action or similar!! :-)

I tend to avoid the 'hard shoulder lane' from part time smart motorways because they still seem to be infrequently swept to remove debris, which is an obvious hazard. I only really use when needing to pull off soon for a slip-off.

I suppose it also very much depends on the road in question - whether its part time, a full time all-lane-running system and/or mostly filled with HGVs running bumper to bumper or not. I would tend to advise giving more room to vehicle in front, just in case someone was stopped in a live lane and you needed to take evasive action with little notice.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - daveyjp

smart or not, in very heavy traffic it is less stressful to just stay in one lane.

I have been on smart motorways and 'stay in lane' has been on the advisory signs.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Terry W

Bit of speculation - but are most motorway accidents (or near accidents) caused by speeding, or just changing lane without using mirrors.

I have always assumed the latter - so will tend to stick to one lane if traffic is heavy (probaly 2 to avoid HGVs and joining/leaving traffic. If traffic is light - the same - you are not a moving roadblock if lanes three and 4 have plenty of space.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - gordonbennet

Most motorway accidents are caused by idiots, considering all the electronic garbage vehicles are now stuffed with nothing stops the fools ramming each other up the back side, some even manage to flip the vehicle over completely on a dead straight road, impressive.

I spend almost all of my unsmart motorway driving at 54mph in the inside lane, very happy for the majority of others to want to avoid that lane, pray carry on, leaves me a free lane where i can maintain a constant speed, something a mind numbing number of drivers appear incapable of, presumably with all that other electronic junk to play with they've forgotten to select cruise.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - John F

My main M-way experience is the southern part of the M1 and the western M25, much of which is four lanes now. Lane hogging is no longer an issue as I think a blind eye is given to occasionally undertaking those in lane three or four doing 65mph. In heavy traffic I've found best progress is often made grinding along with the HGVs at a steady 30mph in lane one rather than concertinaring along in lanes three or four - a minute or two at 60mph then a minute or two at zero mph. But my usual M-way technique is setting the cruise control at 77mph and staying in lane three or four until approached from behind. A generation ago in our old Passat GL5 estate it would have been 85mph. Such is progress.....

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - bathtub tom

For the lane blockers, may I remind you of highway code rule 264, lane discipline:

Rule 264 You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear. If you are overtaking a number of slower-moving vehicles, you should return to the left-hand lane as soon as you are safely past.
Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Big John

I'm nervous of lane one as I've witnessed some smart motorway horror stories with lorries suddenly swerving to avoid a breakdown. I witnessed two in one journey on the M1 a few months ago. If very clear I will drop into lane one though.

Lane hogging is an issue espeially people hanging onto lane 3 or 4 when the motorway is otherwise clear - infact you can be prosecuted for this now, although this rarely happens.

However undertaking (unless slow moving traffic) is really dangerous and has always been illegal in this country.

Slightly related my son witnessed a problem of the current Covid situation. Driving on the M62 Friday he saw 7 broken down motorhomes over 52 miles.

Edited by Big John on 02/08/2020 at 22:57

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Sofa Spud

The 2-lane section of the M11 can be very tricky as far as lane discipline goes (it's not a smart motorway, I know).

When busy, lane 1 is full of a stream of lorries doing 56 mph or less, while cars and vans tend to stay in lane 2 doing 60-70 mph. If you pull over into lane 1 to let other vehicles pass, before long you're stuck behind a lorry doing 56 mph and it's difficult to pull back out into lane 2 when it's full of nose-to-tail cars doing 15 mph more than you are.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 03/08/2020 at 08:54

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - _ORB_

The 2-lane section of the M11 can be very tricky as far as lane discipline goes (it's not a smart motorway, I know).

Last year we were returning from Heathrow to Colchester via M25 north and saw signs, delays after J27 (M11) As we approached the junction it was apparent that all lanes had red X's and North onto the M!! was at a standstill. We knew that there were roadworks on the A120 too., I really don't like that section either so took M11 south to North circular, down to A13 and out to Basildon and then up to Chelmsford and A12 home.

Longer, yes, but moved nicely and the 100mph boys (or girls) on the A13 didn't trouble us.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - John F

However undertaking (unless slow moving traffic) is really dangerous ......

No, it's not when done responsibly. I have driven the whole way across the USA from New Jersey to LA where it is the norm. On four lane highways like the M25 and M1 it is increasingly thought to be pragmatic, avoiding absurd unsafe detours from lane one to lane four just to overtake a blinkered motorist in lane three, some of whom I wonder if have ever passed a driving test , and if so, in which country......

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Archie35

No, it's not when done responsibly. I have driven the whole way across the USA from New Jersey to LA where it is the norm. .

The main difference there is that everyone knows it is legal, and so checks before moving into a "slower" lane to see if they are being undertaken. Here people assume that they won't be undertaken, and so drift into that lane without bothering to check that noone's about to shoot past on the inside.

But I absolutely agree - I hate those lane 3 idiots... and do sometimes do what you describe when the motorway is otherwise mostly empty, but do so carefully, keeping an eye on the lane 3 hog just in case they are about to drift inwards.

Heavy traffic and - Smart motorway driving technique? - Archie35

Adaptive Cruise Control. An absolute godsend in these cases. Position yourself at a safe difference behind the car in front, enable ACC (ideally when moving at whatever the speed limit is), and let it track the car in front as it slows down or speeds up through the slow sections.

I've never had it before my current car, and from now on it's very high indeed on my list of desirable extras. It makes it so much less stressful when driving in start-stop traffic, or indeed for almost all driving where there's other traffic about.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car