Rof motorway hedz

dear drivers of rof,

please help me with something. I have been driving over thirty years with never an accident (touch wood) so i consider myself a reasonably safe driver. Although i was fined for speeding recently, 46 in a 40 zone on motorway restricted speed.

Anyway. I am developing a real phobia about lorries. I drive nearly 1000 miles a month almost all on motorway, half of which is a v long stretch in restricted 50mph zone, 8 junctions each direction. I mostly drive to care for old ladies.

1. I keep getting lorries tailgating, flashing lights, beeping, it is v intimidating. This happened again today, i was in middle lane doing 50 , slow lane was nose to tail big lorries and unwilling to speed into outside lane in restricted speed area. I just had to put up with it. Far too scared to slow down, I imagined the lorry’s momentum would be catastrophic, they need massive breaking distance.

2. Both return journeys from the oldsters require me to join a full dual carriageway, full of lorries it seems, after a tight curving slip lane which culminates in only about 100m of straight before joining the carriageway. So you slow on the curve, then only see the lorries bearing down in your wing mirror with about 100 m to spare. I have messed up twice, yesterday I thought there was plenty of time but the lorry neither changed lane nor slowed and we ended up zig zagging at speed. So today in similar situ I actually came to a halt then had to join traffic doing 70 from a standing start. Also less than ideal.

i am really messing up here and getting into a stew. 

what should I be doing in these situations?


Minkie I don't have any answers but I have completely lost my motorway mojo, used to happily drive hundreds of miles and now I hate it. No issue on dual carriageways or in town at all. I don't even know what is wrong I just feel horrifically anxious and now try to avoid 


I am getting that way Hools but I cant avoid it, oldsters are miles away, one near winchester Nd the other near newbury, i have to fo every week to both of them.

1. Do 55mph, you won't get a ticket and the truckers will be much happier.

2. Put your foot down, hard

‘what should I be doing in these situations?‘

1. wind down the window

2. call them a fat lorry driving prostitute killing c*nt

3. Speed off at 80 holding up your middle finger 

Could you not move into the third lane still doing 50 and let angry lorry undertake you?

On the slip road it’s a case of working out the first moment you can see what’s coming and from then on concentrate on matching speed and slipping in and getting into the middle as fast as you can.

Lorry driving - the profession of choice for the serial killer

Oh, my favourite:

4. when they start getting all pissy make the ‘boo hoo hoo’ gesture with you hands - this is quite a tricky manoeuvre given the relative cab positions but if you can make them see you it’s really worth the effort

sails, with this joining the dual carriageway issue there just isnt time, you dont see the traffic until too late. Grinding to a halt today was a panic response to that.

i think i agree about the tailgating, certainly if there is a lorry in the next lane creeping alongside I do put my foot down for the short time to get away, (because then i am in their blind spot), should do same when immed behind me.

i did hear they were going to move it up to 60mph on m/way partly for this reason, they did for one junction only couple weeks back , but now reverted to 50. I dont think lorries can sustain 50, they seem to have a real problem, i bet its to do with weight/momentum.

I used to have massive respect for lorry drivers, generally they are very skilled. Or they used to be. Or its me who is crap.

It’s not about being able to sustain 50 but not wanting to because it’s less fuel efficient.

I have driven, without any worries, on motorways after midnight in the most terrible storms. Side and head wind and torrential rain. In the early hours of the morning. At times almost all of the other vehicles were artics. Never had a problem. At least not with the lorry drivers. 

Range Rover-driving khunts on a sunny Sunday morning at 10 am in Oxfordshire is a completely different issue. 

Use a satnav to check your actual speed when it’s showing 50mph on the dial.  It could be over reading, so you’re actually doing 45 or something 

Think on the slip road the best you can do is start slowly and try and get a view of the "target" zone on the curve. Then accelerate towards the best gap you can find.

Ultimately your safety depends more on the gap in front of you, so if you have cruise control stick it at 52, maintain 75m in front of you, put some music on and ignore the twats behind you. They are all up against the clock so that's why they cause congestion taking 4 years to overtake another lorry doing one MPH less. They should be banned from every lane of the motorway apart from the inside during peaks and told to do most of their driving at night. 

I'm sure lorry drivers didn't used to be this bad. I think it's increased time pressure for sure. 

Last time I went on M1, a similar  nightmare 

In your situation normally you can at some point get into the inside lane

Absent that, I usually put on the right indicator as a sort of fkuk you gesture

so youve got a hundred meters till your lane runs out

simply drive down this lane til the end and stop (unless you see in your right wing mirror a chance to join early)

then join when theres a gap

if you have to put your foot down a bit to join then so be it

so you should basically be focused mainly on your right wing mirror but also ahead especially if behind other cars as someone may stop suddenly

also if youre stopped dont be afraid to put your window down and look behind rather than use the mirror

and as for going too slowly

just keep up with the car in front (at a safe distance), as long as theyre not going too fast

What Jigsc said. At some point, the lane will clear enough for you to join, and it’s a case of moving up to speed quickly 

Which all means stopping before the end of the slip road if you don’t think there’s going to be a gap.  I like to look for a space that means I can go straight from lane 1 to 3 as I join to get clear of all the crap.

Don't stop at the end of the slip road ffs.

'Just in time' logistics has a lot to answer for imo

cant be avoided sometimes Mr H, if there's no gap there's no gap, you have to wait

just like pulling out at a junction

Yes and v dangerous to be stopped at the end of a slip road after a bend, traffic coming fast behind you.

its poor road design tbh

also dropping down to third gear on the bend might give me more confidence to make a fast getaway, sometimes caught unaware i am still in sixth when i realise i have effed up

well could you find another point to enter the road you need minkie

1. The middle lane is an overtaking lane. You should be in the left lane unless it's full or you're overtaking something in it. If you're travelling at 50 a 50 stretch of motorway I doubt you're overtaking?

2. Joining a carriageway is a bit of a skill. Find the gap you want to get into, drop a gear and accelerate into it rather than pootling along and hoping it is there when you want it.  There are few times when the safest thing is to drive faster. This is one of them.  I always make way for cars joining but there are a shocking number of cunts who think you're robbing their birthright. 

to add, my husbands experience as hgv driver is

  • it is busier- there are more trucks on the road, moving more stuff around. in his case cos you all buy so much online and expect it to arrive next day by magic pixie
  • more drivers are continually tracked (not just tacho) and some algorithm says how long it should take them to arrive. if they are late they face penalties, so they care less about you
  • they are speed limited by limiter and load. 
  • they have much better brakes than cars

he drives at night to avoid cars going at 53mph in the left lane. that 2mph under adds up to a warning from his boss when he does a 500 miles a shift and doesn't get your shopping to the hub fast enough. 

only answer really is avoid roads attractive to hgvs (weight restrictions,  low bridges, long ways round), find another junction or buy yourself a truck...

@ Jelly

"Joining a carriageway is a bit of a skill."

Not if you are fortunate to be behind a 40 tonne articulated lorry.  Especially with Bulgarian plates. Tuck in behind.  Any every Range Rover- driving khunt will realise he is about to destroy his vehicle. Or die trying to be a dickhead. The khunt will give way or gives you sure amount of distance.

Of course that does not happen every time.

Jelly with the average speed checks at roadworks these days all three lanes of the motorway tend to be doing 50 neatly spaced out apart from the odd douche who seems to think his car is invisible to cameras.

Fuck the lorry drivers. You are doing the appropriate speed and they should be as well. 

Most people who have problems with lorries drive too slowly or too hesitantly for the conditions.  Drive at a decent speed and lorries are not a problem.   I reckon it is sometimes safer to slightly exceed the speed limit in some circumstances than come to a grinding to a halt on slip road or get stuck surround by lorries.  There is a tolerance built into speed limits for this very reason.   

Yes Jelly, thanks for mansplaining.

i have been driving without incident for over 30 years

I am talking Bout EXCEPTIONAL. conditions not asking how I drive on a motorway.

very interesting Lizard and thank you for asking your husband, appreciated! Why do they get in trouble for sticking to speed limits, doesnt make sense!

Change your car for one with better acceleration from 40 to 70. 

Use the right gear.  

Elffi May have a point when my car was in the garage recently they gave me Nissan micra (the fuckers)  the lack of acceleration made joining Busy motorways far harder and more stressful is 

Oh Minkie I bet you are glad you posted this now, all this advice,  most of it no relevant to what you asked

one problem with slip roads in this country is that the etiquette is the opposite from actual priority - so people joining form the slip expect people to slow down or move out for them, but the highway code imposes no such obligation so while most decent drivers will do this lorry drivers simply don't.  In much of Europe nobody makes way for people joining from the slip - this is a pain but at least you know where you stand.

1. buy front and rear facing cameras. They don't cost much. Maybe get some sticker for back window that says you've got a camera. 

2. start dobbing them in with the footage to their employers. 

3. if it's at all dark stick your rear fog lights on for a bit to make them back off a bit. 

4. mostly I'd just ease out of their way as needed, fast lane isn't fast in the average speed camera sections


although they're in the wrong if I had to drive zillions of miles on poor money through endless roadworks to a tight schedule sucking in fumes and stuck on my own all the time I'd be a bit crazed too.

I would ban lorries from overtaking on dual carriageways unless the vehicle in front is doing less than 50mph, it is frustrating when lorries take a minute to overtake another vehicle because they are only going about 2mph faster

p.s. obvs if it's really outrageous stuff go to the police. at least a few forces are pretty hot on using video to nail miscreants these days and as these guys drive for a living they have to worry about licence points

If you put your fog lights on most people will just assume you are the type of penis who also puts their front fog lights on daylight because it's cool.

Guy I have some sympathy for them but would advocate killing all car drivers who overtake someone at 71mph then stay in the outside lane because they'll eventually overtake the car in the slow lane that's half a mile ahead of them.

Use a satnav to check your actual speed when it’s showing 50mph on the dial.  It could be over reading, so you’re actually doing 45 or something 

This is why you've got lorries up your ass.  They will be driving to a more accurate speed reading than you.

As it happens I have bought a faster car and collecting on Sunday.

logically this should give me greater confidence (together with premptively dropping down gear rather than changing in demand).

However, I am in such a state now I am nervous of the new car...ridiculous.

i wont have much time to get used to it before long drive next Wednesday.

TBH m7 it sounds like you are now one of the old ladies who should be being looked after.

Have you bought a flat cap and driving gloves?

A new car is a thing to be excited about.  I'm looking at the moment and trying to resist the temptation to just blow the budget on something ridiculous.

I am excited actually becuase it has a sun roof, yeay!


We have one of those sort of slips near to us. Nightmare. I just go as fast as I can around the bend, career onto the motorway and hope for the best. I find it is very important to tell my passengers to close their eyes and hold on.

Slip roads can be tricky if you're on the main carriageway. There's often some boy racer who thinks he's about to join the Indy500 and floors it, making you have to let them through, undertake or overtake.

Lorry drivers tend to be a bit more sensible.

A sun roof?  Are you buying a Ford XR3i?


(kudos if so tbf)

You can do this minkie, you can get to the old ladies. Think of Michele Payne winning the Melbourne Cup. Think of the suffragettes.

1 Take Mr Hargreaves advice

2 Take clubbers advice

3 In a bigger car you will go faster without noticing and that will reduce the agita.

4 When you are stressed by a lorry riding up too close behind you,  flick your full headlights on and off once. To the lorry it looks like your brake lights, they brake automatically, you are continuing at your steady speed, it opens up a bit of breathing space 

Michelle Payne 2.30 mins to 4

Minkie, I sympathise, especially if your drive includes the A34 between Winchester and Newbury which is a road populated by crazies in my experience.

I've always enjoyed driving and driven a lot, over 30k miles a year in some recent years, but definitely I dislike motorway driving more now than when I was younger. I think it's to do with getting older, my reactions are not as good as they were when I was 25 and used to spend most of my journeys overtaking in the outside lane. Plus I'm aware of my own mortality more these days. 

With the 50 mph speed limited stretches, I try and match the speed of the vehicle in front and ideally have the cruise control set on 54 or 55 mph. As others have said, speedometers show your speed as higher than you are really doing, so you can actually drive at more than 50. Also I wonder if your speed is fluctuating, particularly if you are feeling a bit stressed by the driving environment. It can be frustrating for the vehicle behind in these restricted speed stretches if the car in front keeps speeding up then slowing down (even if only by a few mph) as it means the car or lorry behind them keeps having to apply their brakes. Sticking to a constant speed is best. But fundamentally those 50mph sections are horrible to drive through whatever you do. 

I can't really help with the slip road joining issue other than to agree with what someone else said above about perhaps driving slightly out of your way in order to join at a different and safer junction. Also it might be better in your new car? I find that many cars are quite underpowered nowadays for the kind of acceleration needed to join fast motorway traffic safely. It's to do with the push towards more economical engines I think, but that has its drawbacks. 

Anyway I hope you get it sorted. Perhaps try a different, slower route for a while if you can find the time. There are some truly gorgeous back roads in that part of the world, well worth taking the scenic route if you can spare the extra time. I don't know where you are starting your journey from but neither the M3 nor the A34 (as mentioned) are pleasant driving experiences, so you are not alone in thinking this. 

Can really appreciate your point here minkie. I drive around 1k miles a week too and have really noticed feeling more tired after even just 100 mile round trip. My advice is the same as a couple of points above, I think it’s really about having the confidence to put your foot down and get up to the same speed if not slightly above the vehicles in the slow lane when joining from the slip. Your description of the slip sounds like that’s made tricky, any way you can join at the next junction? Just a few weeks ago I was in the middle lane as had moved to let others on, I always just stay in the slow lane unless over taking, and some idiot lorry driver was just as you described, right up my behind, flashing his lights! There was no way I could get back into the slow lane and the rain was so heavy, no way was I getting into the fast lane so overtake, was prob doing 60 in a 60 restriction, visibility was terrible as was surface water! It’s hard but sometimes the easiest thing is to just ignore and focus on what’s in front of you, they can overtake if they’re that impatient and should just be temporary. 

I had to drive on the main road forget it’s name right now between Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a couple months and hated that, no blinkers or anything. If you are in a position where you’re nervous or stopped or a bit slower, you can always stick on your hazards and vehicles will be wary and just get past you.

Should have done that today dolomite, in extremely heavy rain on the M4. For first time in my life I acquaplaned, I hit a small dip, flooded. At about 60.

so that was a fail

in the new car today I really floored it on the slip road ahead of a lorry, gave me a lot of confidence, and deliberately dropped down to lower gear than I would usually. A win!

new car is a nightmare, everything on a complicated screen with all these advisories flashing contstantly, havent worked out yet how to switch them off. I think i have to register an account with the car manufacturer and log in to the bloody car in order to switch them off, jeez we’re a long way now from just get in the car and go.

someone told me at the weekend his new car had air cinditioned seats (this is London not Dubai, btw), where will it end??

Oh minkie that's so scary. Hope you're ok

Our new car is alive, I swear. 

That does sound very scary! On wet days, aquaplaning is my worst fear since no matter how hard you’re concentrating, you can hit the water before you even see it! That’s why I don’t understand those who drive anymore than 70 when there’s large amounts of surface water, recipe for disaster! I’ve an old ish car looking to buy another soon but prob still a 4 year old one so mine is very much get in and go! Good for you with the acceleration, I really do think a lot of it comes down to confidence and being able to just stick the foot down 

I believe its getting worse for reasons noted by others above: 

- more lorries

- more fuel taxes mean that fuel efficienty is very importamt

- more tech means that lorry firms can measure drivers and manage them to the nth degree

- greater inequality and job insecurity means the drivers have to suck it up

As a result I increasingly encounter lorry drivers behaving like sociopathic arseholes and drivint dangerously or highly inconsiderately. The above factors do not excuse that behaviour but do explain it to an extent.


Just seen this.  I drove the A55 Holyhead to Chester on Friday.  I could happily kill the mouth-breathing Korean value car drivers going at 40mph in the left hand lane (“it’s a limit not a target”) which mean that lorries pullout and overtake the, in slow motion causing tailbacks from Mold to Conwy.

In my experience having had a driving licence for 31 years (and no points fwiw) and as a cyclist for longer, I’ve rarely found lorries a danger.  Cars, all the time.

If your speedo shows 50, you are doing 45.

This is dangerous on motorways.

Either speed up, or get off the road. 

This message brought to you by the FFM - Munich drag race.

And it’s about 2mph difference, not 5.

there is a junction on the a3 near sw19 where you join southbound that used to have a bush that totally obscured the view of the traffic. I am amazed no one died.

lot of the time its hit and hope

Those people doing 40 mph in north Wales are all old age pensioners who would drive themsleves into the sea if they went any fatser you selfish fucking arsehole.

About acquaplaning - many years ago I heard a R4 prog about driving and they said the optimum to avoid is about 56mph which is same roughly as fuel economy. So i clocked that and adhere, more or less, in heavy rain.

today it didnt work.

becos new car?.. idk.

 I saw the flooded bit split second in advance (at about 60) and braced myself, v quick swerve then it was over. 

Having worked for a big insurer in my younger days, I would say the best thing you can do is to wait for them to get close and then do a short sharp tap of your brakes. Keep doing this over and over again whilst making sure you’re less than 5 mph over the speed limit or so. When they try to overtake and you see space, accelerate and move across in front of them. Repeat for as long as the 50 average speed check is in force. When it’s not, 80+ as usual. 

What you say minkie. I’m heavy water I drive at 60 with cars flying past me, it’s ok when you can swerve of course and it is instinct too. I’ve aquaplaned in some country roads on bends and swerved and hoped nothing was coming around the bend. I think that you sound like a very good and cautious driver, my dad always said to me, it’s the other road user you need to keep an eye on. I do agree with the post above though about anyone going at 40 that’s never fun to come up behind even when like me, driving 75 max 

It makes me feel more confident upon joining the motorway and then if it is one with 4 lanes just to constantly check my mirrors. The best bit of advice I got from a course I had to take while working abroad was - to make sure you have an “out” - so I always try to not be right next to a vehicle / foot down in anyones blind spot / and generally one of this people who annoys others by keeping a very safe distance from the car in front, sure cars come right up behind me but if they are behind me while I’m driving at 70 they can take over! I do laugh though when you end up at the same junction as them a minute later!!

Piggy. Speedometers typically read 10% over

To avoid manufacturers being liable for speeding tickets. 

I won't bore you with the parameters of the tolerance stack. 

Feel free to fuck off, at any speed your little legs can carry you. 

Easy enough to test - fire up your phone sat nav and compare what they say.
I find most cars speedos are much closer to accurate these days but it’s nice to revisit old urban wisdom :)

If my speedo is inaccurate then everyone elses’ is too, so we are on a level playing field.

i certainly do not drive slowly on motorwys. With no restrictions and good conditions i am generally at c 80 

i am highly observant and can spot a mobile phone handler driver far ahead and i have rejected many cars in the past for insufficient visibility with the mirrors (the best is VW Golf as it happens)

It's not a level playing field. Trucks are calibrated. 

When you drive ling distance, the closer you are to the limit, the closer you are to making a delivery. Earning your wage. 

Speed up. 

Hi Minkie, I haven't read all of the above but before lockdown I was doing a 60 mile odd round commute mainly on motorways.  I would state if you are a regular motorway driver you need a pretty quick off the mark car for these circumstances (a bit like busy roundabouts).  When you have the chance to go you need to be like $hit off a stick. I had several BMW 1 series for years which did the trick as does my Range Rover now.  Re the 50MPH bit, I have never encountered this with lorries etc beeping tailgating but I can imagine how stressful that is.  You can either a) stick your ground in the middle lane if you can't get into the slow (you are in the right) or b) indicate that you want to move into the left and if no-one lets you in at least the driver can see you are not out to sabotage his speeding, or c) move over to right (at 50MPH or thereabouts) and let him undertake you.  Shout NOB HEAD when he drives past.