A & C Driving School

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Using lanes Properly

You should know the purpose of each lane on the motorway.

To help you understand when you should move from one lane to another, the picture below gives a number to each lane. The lane nearest the hard shoulder is lane 1 (also known as the inside lane). On a two-lane motorway, the lane nearest to the centre of the road is lane 2 (or the outside lane). On a three-lane motorway, lane 3 is the outside lane.

Lane 1 You should always use this lane for normal driving. Stay in this lane unless you are overtaking.

Lane 2 You should only use this lane for overtaking. You must move back to lane 1 once you have finished overtaking and it is safe to do so. you can also move into lane 2 to allow vehicles coming from your
left to join the motorway.

Lane 3 You should only use this lane if traffic in lanes 1 and 2 is moving in queues and you need to overtake or make room for merging traffic.

Again, you should move back to lane 1 as soon as it is safe to do so.

When overtaking, only move between two lanes at a time. For example, to move from lane 1 to lane 3, first move into lane 2 and wait to move to lane 3 until it is safe to do so.

Do not use the outside lane if you are driving:
a goods vehicle with a design gross weight of more than 3,500 kilogrammes such as a lorry or heavy goods vehicle (HGV);

a passenger vehicle with seating for more than eight passengers; such as a bus; or

a vehicle towing a trailer, horsebox or caravan.

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