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Drive Sensibly On Our Highland Roads

A page of advice about travelling by car in the Highlands and in Glencoe and Lochaber specifically.

Some things to think about when driving in the Highlands

Drive on the left
YIELD to vehicles on your right

In the UK, EVERYONE drives on the left hand side of the road. This means the simple, basic, No 1 Rule of the Road is to GIVE WAY or YIELD to traffic coming from your RIGHT.

Speed Limits - THINK ABOUT IT!
The maximum speed limit anywhere in the UK is 70mph. This speed is the legal, maximum speed for motorway journeys too.

On trunk roads the maximum speed limit is 60mph for private cars, unless there are signs instructing you otherwise. Large HGV vehicles should be travelling at 40mph.

In the Highlands driving too slow can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. Here's what happens...

You're driving along a road, as far as you're concerned, you've only been driving on the wrong side of the road, in a strange rental car, with the wheel on the wrong side of the car, for a few days. Or you're pulling your caravan to park it somewhere else, or your mini-camper only does 40mph.

You are completely astonished at how close the oncoming traffic is passing you. Everytime a coach or a truck approaches, you're sure its going to hit you.
So you're traveling along the road at between 35-40mph and just coping nicely.
However, behind you, there are now a large number of other vehicles all crawling along at YOUR speed - maybe 12 or more. Suddenly, a driver in one of these vehicles decides he's had enough and he's going to overtake you - but he has to get passed all the other cars behind you first - if its the last thing he does. Sadly, it often is the last thing he does. The resulting RTA is horrific - mangled vehicles, dead people in cars, blood all over the place - and some poor souls have to clear it up!

Fortunately, this need not happen, because we have a solution to this very frequent problem - they are called lay-bys and passing places.
All you have to do is this:

1 CHECK YOUR MIRRORS FREQUENTLY - when traffic is building up behind you, its time to pull over!
2 CHECK YOUR SPEED - 50mph is quite a reasonable speed to travel - 35mph is not and other drivers consider it very selfish.
3 KEEP 80-100 metres behind the car in front!
When you see a blue road sign with a big letter P on it, this means you can pull up, to let cars go by.
5 DON'T STOP ON THE HIGHWAY - you will cause a road traffic accident !

Speeding and Impatience
Keeping your distance from the vehicle in front.    
If you enjoy driving fast in your car, truck or motorcycle, the obligation is on you to drive with CONSIDERATION and RESPECT for others. Just think about - there could be any number or reasons why someone ahead is driving slowly. Driving immediately behind another vehicle, is BLOODY STUPID and guaranteed to be the catylist for an accident.

A minimum of 30 metres is the least you should consider.

Keeping a clear, safe distance from the vehicle in front, allows faster vehicles to pass safely between two slower moving vehicles. This distance also provides everyone with a good THINKING DISTANCE - the distance your vehicle travels before you react to changes.

BE SEEN !  Use your headlights !!!!
A simple and effective way to help on-coming vehicles to SEE YOU, is to drive at all times with your dipped, main headlights ON - try this test for yourself.
Next time you're driving along on a wet day, spend more time observing the vehicles approaching you. See how more quickly and more easily you can DETECT and JUDGE a vehicle with its headlights on... Really simple or what?

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