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5 million drivers believe they lack skills needed for motorway driving after they learn to drive.


For PassPlus or Motorway Instruction / Refresher courses, or Driving Lessons in Folkestone

and Driving Lessons in Hythe, contact Peter here


'M-Phobia' condemns lost generation of Britons to life in the slow lane


Fear of motorways and a lack of driving skills have created a 'lost generation' of drivers who avoid M-roads at all costs.

One in seven motorists (or nearly 5 million in total) say they lack vital skills for motorway driving, rising to one in five among drivers

who have passed their test within the last five years, according to an AA survey.


The study comes as instructors report that a phenomenon dubbed 'M-phobia' is driving thousands onto more dangerous A-roads,

hurting small businesses, and in some cases producing whole families of motorway avoiders.  Some drivers fear motorways so much that

they spend decades, or even generations, avoiding them - according to feedback from a panel of AA driving professionals.


Learner drivers in the UK are not allowed to drive on motorways, are not tested on practical motorway skills, and do not have to take

motorway lessons once licensed.  The AA believes this means many new drivers lack confidence and skills specific to motorways.

Driving too slowly and not observing safe following distances or merging safely when joining the motorway are the problems

most commonly seen by instructors.


An AA spokesman reports: "The evidence suggests motorways are Britain's most feared roads, with a lost generation of drivers avoiding

them completely. Yet, statistically, they are our safest roads. Tailored motorway tuition with a qualified instructor can help drivers beat M-phobia,

and build the skills and confidence to drive safely while enjoying the convenience of our motorway network."


For PassPlus or Motorway Instruction / Refresher courses contact Peter for details

Example cases:  

  • A second-generation motorway avoider who had never been on an M-road, even as a passenger, as her mother shunned them at all costs.

          On her first motorway outing, she had just managed to get into lane 2 when a Police car with full lights and sirens approached from behind.

          She immediately crossed back into lane 1, then onto the hard shoulder to stop apparently thinking the Police were after her for driving too fast.


  • A terrified young pupil who hesitated when joining the M6 from a slip road. When a driver in lane 1 slowed and flashed to let her in she

          panicked, slowed to their speed and ended up 'sandwiched' driving beside them on the hard shoulder.


  • A widow whose late husband had always done the motorway driving asked the AA to help her back onto M-roads after an absence of

          30 years.  She was losing touch with friends as she couldn't bring herself to travel to them by motorway. But speed was not her only worry as she

          insisted on doing her lesson in her own car for fear that her peers would see her in a driving school car.


  • A taxi driver who had refused all jobs involving motorway driving since witnessing a motorway accident 20 years ago. He booked a motorway

          lesson and, after starting out at 45mph with a queue of traffic behind, gradually gained the confidence to travel at a suitable speed. Now he gladly

          accepts motorway jobs, his takings have increased, and he is so delighted he has referred three other drivers to his instructor.


Fact file:                      

         Purple car with flame        


  • Young drivers and women are by far the least confident on motorways, according to AA/Populus research. Only 44 % of those aged

          18-24 and 44 % of women said they were confident driving on motorways. The figures were 65 % and 70 % respectively for male

           drivers aged 55-64.


  • Research suggests that in their first year of driving nearly 20 % of men and 40 % of women avoid motorways altogether.

          By the third year after passing the test, 11 % of men and 28 % of women did no motorway drivi-represented among accidents, with drivers

          aged 17-24 involved in more than a quarter of motorway accidents involving death or injury.


  • The AA recommends motorway driving courses that are designed to give drivers the knowledge, skills and confidence to drive on

           motorways safely at all times and in all conditions.



For PassPlus or Motorway Instruction / Refresher courses contact Peter for details