Motorway driving quiz - is your knowledge up to date?

If you’re returning to the UK after a few years abroad then you might be in need of a quick reminder of the driving rules for our busy motorways. And what better way than through a fun multiple-choice quiz!

To get you started the team at Insurance Factory have compiled a list of questions for you to answer – it’s a great way to find out how much brushing up you need to do if you want to drive safely on UK motorways.

As an expat car insurance provider, we like nothing more than a spot of driving trivia. All answers are listed at the end – but no cheating!


1.          You are travelling at 60mph on a dry day, what will be your typical stopping distance?

A - 36 metres (118 feet)
B - 53 metres (175 feet)
C - 73 metres (240 feet)
D - 96 metres (315 feet)

2.          In icy conditions braking distances can increase by how much?

A - 2 times
B - 5 times
C - 10 times
D - 20 times

3.          If red lights flash and a red X appears on a motorway signal, what must you do?

A - Take care
B - Do not proceed further in this lane
C - Change lanes
D - The motorway is closed ahead. Leave motorway at the next exit

4.          In what circumstance can you use the right-hand lane of the motorway?

A - When driving at 70mph
B - When overtaking
C - When the motorway is clear in all lanes
D - When towing a trailer

5.          You need to take the next exit on the motorway. Where should you position your vehicle before reaching the exit?

A - On the hard shoulder
B - In the left-hand lane
C - In the middle lane
D - In any lane
A birds-eye view of a busy motorway
6.          If you are driving at 70mph on a three-lane motorway clear of cars, which lane should you drive in?

A - Left
B - Centre
C - Right
D - Any Lane

7.          Which THREE of these are NOT allowed to use motorways?

A - Learner car drivers
B - Double-decker buses
C - Tractors
D - Horse riders
E - Cyclists

8.          What does the presence of GREEN studs indicate on the motorway?

A - The left-hand edge of the motorway
B - The right-hand edge of the motorway
C - The separation of the lanes
D - A slip road off the motorway

9.          If you feel tired when driving on the motorway what should you do?

A - Carry on but open a window and slow down
B - Leave the motorway at the next exit
C - Finish your journey as soon as possible
D - Pull over and stop on the hard shoulder for a rest

10.        You're towing a small trailer full of furniture on the motorway. Which of the following rules apply to you?

A - You must not exceed 50mph
B - You must not overtake
C - You must have a stabiliser fitted
D - You must only use the left-hand and centre lanes

11.        You’ve broken down on a motorway but you weren't able to stop on the hard shoulder. What should you do instead?

A - Turn on your hazard warning lights
B - Stop traffic and ask for help
C - Repair your vehicle as quickly as possible
D - Place a warning triangle behind your vehicle to warn other drivers

12.        You’re driving in the left-hand lane and see another vehicle merging from a slip road. What should you do?

A - Increase your speed to get ahead of it
B - Keep driving at the same speed
C - Let the other vehicle adjust its speed
D - Prepare to adjust your speed if necessary

13.        What is the speed limit for cars in the left-hand lane of a three-lane motorway?

A - 70mph
B - 60mph
C - 50mph
D - 40mph

14.     What’s the aim of a smart motorway?

A - To prevent tailgating
B - To reduce rest stops
C - To reduce congestion
D - To prevent overtaking
A time-lapse of a busy motorway bend at night

So, how do you think you did?

You’ll find all the answers below. How many did you get right this time?

1.          The correct answer is C - 73 metres (240 feet)

Typical stopping distances can be found in the Highway Code Rule 126. But these depend on your attention, the road surface, the weather conditions, and the condition of your vehicle. Always drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.

2.          The correct answer is C - 10 times

Drive extremely carefully when the roads are icy, even if the roads have been treated. If you’ve been spending years driving in warmer climates then UK winter conditions can take some getting used to.

3.          The correct answer is B - Do not proceed further in this lane

Under Rule 258, this motorway signal may be used to indicate a lane closure due to an accident or other hazard. You must not continue to drive in that lane even if it seems clear. This applies until you pass another signal telling you the lane is no longer closed, by displaying the word ‘End’ or a speed limit sign and you are sure it’s safe to continue.

4.          The correct answer is B – When overtaking

The right-hand lane should only be used when overtaking slower moving vehicles. Drivers of HGVs, buses, coaches or vehicles towing a trailer or caravan are not allowed to use the right-hand lane of a three-lane motorway.

5.          The correct answer is A - In the left-hand lane

If you don’t want to risk missing your exit, you need to move into the left-hand lane in plenty of time. Whatever you do NEVER cut across traffic at the last moment.

6.          The correct answer is B - Left

If you aren’t overtaking you should always drive in the left-hand lane.

7.          The correct answers are:
C - Tractors
D - Horse riders
E - Cyclists

In addition, pedestrians, motorcycles under 50cc, certain slow-moving vehicles without permission, and powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters are not allowed on motorways. Since June 2018, learner drivers have been allowed on motorways provided they’re accompanied by an approved driving instructor and they’re driving a car fitted with dual controls.

8.          The correct answer is D - A slip road off the motorway

Green studs also mark the edge of the motorway at lay-bys and side roads.

9.          The correct answer is B - Leave the motorway at the next exit

The best place to stop is at a service station or rest area. However, if there is not one close by then leave the motorway at the next exit and find a place where you can pull up and stop safely. Taking a nap or having a walk are a good way to feel less tired. Never drive when feeling tired.

10.        The correct answer is D - You must only use the left-hand and centre lanes

When towing a trailer on a three-lane motorway you must not use the right-hand lane (unless directed to do so) and you must not exceed 60mph.

11.        The correct answer is A - Turn on your hazard warning lights

If you’re unable to reach the hard shoulder, then you must use your hazard warning lights to warn other road users. Only leave your car if you can safely get clear of the motorway. Don’t try to repair the vehicle or place any warning signs on the motorway.

12.        The correct answer is D - Prepare to adjust your speed if necessary

Changing lanes could inconvenience or endanger other road users already on the motorway. Be ready to adjust your speed to let other vehicles onto the motorway.

13.        The correct answer is A - 70mph

It’s the same speed limit for all motorway lanes. Unless you’re towing a caravan or trailer or a goods vehicle exceeding 7.5 tonnes.

14.        The correct answer is C - To reduce congestion

Smart motorway schemes are designed to reduce congestion and improve the reliability of journey times. When a smart motorway is operating, the hard shoulder may be used as a running lane to ease congestion at peak times or if an accident occurs. Variable speed limits are also used to help keep the traffic moving and to avoid vehicle bunching.

The simple answer to expat car insurance

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