Motorway Rules Theory Test

There are 55 driving theory test Motorway Rules questions. You must get 86% (47 out of 55) to pass the test. You may review answers after each question by clicking the 'check answer' button or you can wait until the end of the test for your final score. Good luck!

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A Carry on along the hard shoulder until you see a safe gap
B Match your speed to traffic in the left-hand lane and filter into a safe gap
C Stop at the end of the slip road and look for a safe gap
D Use the slip road to accelerate until you're moving much faster than the motorway traffic
Correct Answer: B Match your speed to traffic in the left-hand lane and filter into a safe gap
Explanation: You should give way to traffic already on the motorway. Where possible, traffic may move over to let you in, but don't force your way into the traffic stream. Traffic could be travelling at high speed, so try to match your speed to filter in without affecting the traffic flow.
A 30 mph
B 50 mph
C 60 mph
D 70 mph
Correct Answer: D 70 mph
Explanation: Travelling at the national speed limit doesn't allow you to hog the right-hand lane. Always use the left-hand lane whenever possible. When leaving a motorway, get into the left-hand lane well before your exit. Reduce your speed on the slip road and look out for sharp bends or curves and traffic queuing at roundabouts.
A Any vehicle that isn't overtaking
B Emergency vehicles only
C Large vehicles only
D Slow vehicles only
Correct Answer: A Any vehicle that isn't overtaking
Explanation: On a motorway, all traffic should use the left-hand lane unless overtaking. When overtaking a number of slower vehicles, move back to the left-hand lane when you're safely past. Check your mirrors frequently and don't stay in the middle or right-hand lane if the left-hand lane is free.
A Motorcycle and sidecar outfits
B Motorcycles
C Small delivery vans
D Vehicles towing a trailer
Correct Answer: D Vehicles towing a trailer
Explanation: On the motorway, any vehicle towing a trailer is restricted to 60 mph. It isn't allowed in the right-hand lane, as it might hold up faster-moving traffic that wishes to overtake in that lane.
A It allows easy location by the emergency services
B It connects you to a local garage
C Mobile phones don't work on motorways
D Using a mobile phone will distract other drivers
Correct Answer: A It allows easy location by the emergency services
Explanation: On a motorway, it's best to use a roadside emergency telephone so that the emergency services are able to find you easily. The location of the nearest telephone is shown by an arrow on marker posts at the edge of the hard shoulder. If you use a mobile, find out the number on the nearest marker post before you call. This number will let the operator know where you are and in which direction you're travelling.
A Gain speed on the hard shoulder before moving out onto the carriageway
B Move out onto the carriageway using your hazard warning lights
C Move out onto the carriageway, then build up your speed
D Wait on the hard shoulder until someone flashes their headlights at you
Correct Answer: A Gain speed on the hard shoulder before moving out onto the carriageway
Explanation: Signal your intention and build up sufficient speed on the hard shoulder so that you can filter into a safe gap in the traffic. Don't push your way into a small gap or cause other traffic to alter speed or direction.
A Along the hard shoulder
B Before a junction
C Before a service area
D On a steep gradient
Correct Answer: D On a steep gradient
Explanation: Large, slow-moving vehicles can hinder the progress of other traffic. On a steep gradient, an extra crawler lane may be provided for slow-moving vehicles to allow faster-moving traffic to flow more easily.
A They warn of a police control ahead
B They're countdown markers to a bridge
C They're countdown markers to the next exit
D They're distance markers to the next telephone
Correct Answer: C They're countdown markers to the next exit
Explanation: The exit from a motorway is indicated by countdown markers. These are positioned 90 metres (100 yards) apart, the first being 270 metres (300 yards) from the start of the slip road. Move into the left-hand lane well before you reach the start of the slip road.
A Between each pair of lanes
B Between the acceleration lane and the carriageway
C Between the central reservation and the carriageway
D Between the hard shoulder and the carriageway
Correct Answer: C Between the central reservation and the carriageway
Explanation: On motorways, reflective studs of various colours are fixed in the road between the lanes. These help you to identify which lane you're in when it's dark or in poor visibility. Amber-coloured studs are found on the right-hand edge of the main carriageway, next to the central reservation.
Correct Answer: D White
Explanation: White studs are found between the lanes on motorways. They reflect back the light from your headlights. This is especially useful in bad weather, when visibility is restricted.
Correct Answer: B Green
Explanation: The studs between the carriageway and the hard shoulder are normally red. These change to green where there's a slip road, helping you to identify slip roads when visibility is poor or when it's dark.
A Facing oncoming traffic
B In the direction of the nearest exit
C In the direction shown on the marker posts
D With the traffic flow
Correct Answer: C In the direction shown on the marker posts
Explanation: Along the hard shoulder there are marker posts at 100-metre intervals. These will direct you to the nearest emergency telephone.
A Because there's space available to turn round if you need to
B Because you can continue on the hard shoulder
C To allow you direct access to the overtaking lanes
D To allow you to fit safely into the traffic flow in the left-hand lane
Correct Answer: D To allow you to fit safely into the traffic flow in the left-hand lane
Explanation: Try to join the motorway without affecting the progress of the traffic in the left-hand lane and always give way to traffic already on the motorway. At busy times, you may have to slow down to merge into slow-moving traffic.
A Face the oncoming traffic
B Keep your back to the traffic
C Stand on the hard shoulder
D Stay close to the carriageway
Correct Answer: A Face the oncoming traffic
Explanation: Traffic is passing you at speed. If the draught from a large lorry catches you by surprise, it could blow you off balance and even onto the carriageway. By facing the oncoming traffic, you can see approaching lorries and so be prepared for their draught. You'll also be in a position to see any other hazards approaching.
Correct Answer: C Red
Explanation: Red studs are placed between the edge of the carriageway and the hard shoulder. Where slip roads leave or join the motorway, the studs are green.
A Centre
B Either the right or centre
C Left
D Right
Correct Answer: C Left
Explanation: On a three-lane motorway, you should travel in the left-hand lane unless you're overtaking. This applies regardless of the speed at which you're travelling.
A Keep a good distance from the vehicle ahead
B Stay close to the vehicle ahead to reduce queues
C Switch lanes to keep the traffic flowing
D Use dipped headlights
Correct Answer: A Keep a good distance from the vehicle ahead
Explanation: At roadworks, and especially where a contraflow system is operating, a speed restriction is likely to be in place. Keep to the lower speed limit and don't
  • switch lanes
  • get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Be aware that there will be no permanent barrier between you and the oncoming traffic.
A In the left-hand lane
B In the middle lane
C In the right-hand lane
D On the hard shoulder
Correct Answer: A In the left-hand lane
Explanation: The colours of the reflective studs on the motorway and their locations are
  • red - between the hard shoulder and the carriageway
  • white - between lanes
  • amber - between the carriageway and the central reservation
  • green - along slip-road exits and entrances
  • bright green/yellow - at roadworks and contraflow systems.

A Always use the hard shoulder
B Obey the speed limit
C Speed up to clear the area quickly
D Stay very close to the vehicle in front
Correct Answer: B Obey the speed limit
Explanation: Be aware of reduced speed limits at roadworks. Speed limits shown inside a red circle are mandatory and cameras are often used to enforce the reduced limit. Slow down in good time and keep your distance from the vehicle in front.
A Cars with automatic transmission
B Double-deck buses
C Motorcycles over 50 cc
D Powered mobility scooters
Correct Answer: D Powered mobility scooters
Explanation: Motorways mustn't be used by pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles under 50 cc, certain slow-moving vehicles without permission, and powered wheelchairs/mobility scooters.
A Concentrate more than you would on other roads
B Look much further ahead than you would on other roads
C Maintain a shorter separation distance than you would on other roads
D Travel much faster than you would on other roads
Correct Answer: B Look much further ahead than you would on other roads
Explanation: Traffic on motorways usually travels faster than on other roads. You need to be looking further ahead to give yourself more time to react to any hazard that may develop.
A Position your vehicle in the centre lane
B Re-adjust your mirrors
C Stay in the left-hand lane
D Try to overtake
Correct Answer: C Stay in the left-hand lane
Explanation: When you've just joined a motorway, stay in the left-hand lane long enough to get used to the higher speeds of motorway traffic before considering overtaking.
A When you're driving above the speed limit
B When you're overtaking
C When you're trying to save fuel
D When you're turning right
Correct Answer: B When you're overtaking
Explanation: The right-hand lane of the motorway is for overtaking. Sometimes you may be directed into a right-hand lane as a result of roadworks or a traffic incident. This will be indicated by signs or officers directing the traffic.
A When you're joining the motorway
B When you're leaving the motorway
C When you're stopping for a rest
D When you're stopping in an emergency
Correct Answer: D When you're stopping in an emergency
Explanation: Don't use the hard shoulder for stopping unless it's an emergency. If you want to stop for any other reason, go to the next exit or service area.
A Leave the motorway at the next exit
B Move to the left and reduce your speed to 50 mph
C There are roadworks 50 metres (55 yards) ahead
D Use the hard shoulder until you've passed the hazard
Correct Answer: B Move to the left and reduce your speed to 50 mph
Explanation: You must obey these signs even if there appear to be no problems ahead. There could be queuing traffic or another hazard that you can't see yet.
A When you need to use a mobile telephone
B When you need to walk and get fresh air
C When you wish to pick up hitchhikers
D When you're signalled to do so by traffic signals
Correct Answer: D When you're signalled to do so by traffic signals
Explanation: You must stop if overhead gantry signs show a red cross above every lane on the motorway. If any of the other lanes doesn't show a red cross, you may move into that lane and continue if it's safe to do so.
A Adjust your speed or change lane if you can do so safely
B Increase your speed to ensure they join behind you
C Maintain a steady speed
D Switch on your hazard warning lights
Correct Answer: A Adjust your speed or change lane if you can do so safely
Explanation: Plan well ahead when approaching a slip road. If you see traffic joining the motorway, be prepared to adjust your speed or move to another lane if it's safe to do so. This can help the flow of traffic joining the motorway, especially at peak times.
A Keep to the left-hand lane unless you're overtaking
B Overtake using the lane that's clearest
C Stay in one lane until you reach your exit
D Use the lane that has the least traffic
Correct Answer: A Keep to the left-hand lane unless you're overtaking
Explanation: You should normally travel in the left-hand lane unless you're overtaking a slower-moving vehicle. When you've finished overtaking, move back into the left-hand lane, but don't cut across in front of the vehicle that you've overtaken.
A When in queues and traffic to your right is moving more slowly than you are
B When the traffic in the right-hand lane is signalling right
C When you can see well ahead that the hard shoulder is clear
D When you warn drivers behind by signalling left
Correct Answer: A When in queues and traffic to your right is moving more slowly than you are
Explanation: Never overtake on the left, unless the traffic is moving in queues and the queue on your right is moving more slowly than the one you're in.
A If you think you'll be involved in a road rage incident
B In cases of emergency or breakdown
C To make a private phone call
D To stop and check where you are
Correct Answer: B In cases of emergency or breakdown
Explanation: On smart motorways, emergency refuge areas are built at the side of the hard shoulder. If you break down, try to get your vehicle into the refuge, where there's an emergency telephone. The phone connects directly to a control centre. Remember to take care when rejoining the motorway, especially if the hard shoulder is being used as a running lane.
A Issue fixed penalty notices
B Repair broken-down vehicles on the motorway
C Stop and arrest drivers who break the law
D Stop and direct anyone on a motorway
Correct Answer: D Stop and direct anyone on a motorway
Explanation: Traffic officers don't have enforcement powers but are able to stop and direct people on motorways and some 'A' class roads. They operate in England and Wales and work in partnership with the police at incidents, providing a highly trained and visible service. They're recognised by an orange-and-yellow jacket and their vehicle has yellow-and-black markings.
A Pull up in this lane to answer your mobile phone
B This lane can be used if you need a rest
C Use this lane as a running lane
D You shouldn't travel in this lane
Correct Answer: D You shouldn't travel in this lane
Explanation: Some motorways have been redesigned as smart motorways. At certain times, the hard shoulder will be open as a running lane. However, a red cross above the hard shoulder shows that it isn't open as a running lane and should only be used for emergencies and breakdowns.
A The hard shoulder can be used as a running lane
B You can park on the hard shoulder if you feel tired
C You can pull up in this lane to answer a mobile phone
D You shouldn't travel in this lane
Correct Answer: A The hard shoulder can be used as a running lane
Explanation: A mandatory speed-limit sign above the hard shoulder shows that this part of the road can be used as a running lane between junctions. You must stay within the speed limit. Look out for vehicles that may have broken down and could be blocking the hard shoulder.
A By using advisory speed limits
B By using higher speed limits
C By using minimum speed limits
D By using variable speed limits
Correct Answer: D By using variable speed limits
Explanation: When a smart motorway is operating, you must follow the mandatory signs on the gantries above each lane, including the hard shoulder. Variable speed limits help keep the traffic moving and also help to prevent bunching.
A Contraflow systems
B Lane closures
C National speed limits
D Variable speed limits
Correct Answer: D Variable speed limits
Explanation: Congestion can be reduced by keeping traffic at a constant speed. At busy times, maximum speed limits are displayed on overhead gantries. These can be varied quickly, depending on the amount of traffic. By keeping to a constant speed on busy sections of motorway, overall journey times are normally improved.
A If you have to read a map
B If your mobile phone rings
C In an emergency or breakdown
D When you're tired and need a rest
Correct Answer: C In an emergency or breakdown
Explanation: You shouldn't normally stop on a motorway, but there may be occasions when you need to do so. If your vehicle breaks down or there's an emergency, stop on the hard shoulder and use the emergency telephones to call for assistance.
A 50 mph
B 60 mph
C 70 mph
D 80 mph
Correct Answer: C 70 mph
Explanation: The national speed limit for a car or motorcycle on a motorway is 70 mph. Lower speed limits may be in force; for example, at roadworks. Variable speed limits also operate in some areas when the motorway is very busy. Cars or motorcycles towing trailers are subject to a lower speed limit.
A Next to the phone
B On the hard shoulder
C Well away from the carriageway
D With your vehicle
Correct Answer: C Well away from the carriageway
Explanation: When you're on the hard shoulder, you're at risk of being injured by motorway traffic. The safest place to wait is away from the carriageway, but near enough to see the emergency services arriving.
A Leave at the next exit
B Pull onto the hard shoulder
C Slow down and watch for further signals
D Stop and wait
Correct Answer: D Stop and wait
Explanation: A red cross signal above all lanes mean you must stop and wait. Don't change lanes and don't try to continue any further along the motorway.
A The hard shoulder can be used as a normal running lane
B The hard shoulder can be used as a rest area if you feel tired
C The hard shoulder has a speed limit of 50 mph
D The hard shoulder is for emergency or breakdown use only
Correct Answer: D The hard shoulder is for emergency or breakdown use only
Explanation: A red cross above the hard shoulder shows that it's closed as a running lane and should only be used for emergencies or breakdowns. On a smart motorway, the hard shoulder may be used as a running lane at busy times. This will be shown by a mandatory speed limit on the gantry above the hard shoulder.
A Use all the lanes, including the hard shoulder
B Use any lane except the hard shoulder
C Use the hard shoulder only
D Use the three right-hand lanes only
Correct Answer: A Use all the lanes, including the hard shoulder
Explanation: You must obey mandatory speed-limit signs above motorway lanes, including the hard shoulder. In this case, you can use the hard shoulder as a running lane but you should look for any vehicles that may have broken down and may be blocking the hard shoulder.
A At the nearest service area
B On a slip road
C On the central reservation
D On the hard shoulder
Correct Answer: A At the nearest service area
Explanation: If you feel tired, stop at the nearest service area. If that's too far away, leave the motorway at the next exit and find a safe place to stop. You mustn't stop on the carriageway or hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency, when in a traffic queue, or when signalled to do so by a police officer, a traffic officer or traffic signals. Plan your journey so that you have regular rest stops.
A 40 mph
B 50 mph
C 60 mph
D 70 mph
Correct Answer: C 60 mph
Explanation: If you're towing a small, light trailer, it won't reduce your vehicle's performance by very much and it may not be visible in your mirrors. However, strong winds or buffeting from large vehicles might cause the trailer to snake from side to side. Be aware of your speed and don't exceed the reduced speed limit imposed on vehicles towing trailers.
A When the road ahead is clear
B When you're making a phone call
C When you're overtaking slower traffic in the other lanes
D When your vehicle breaks down
Correct Answer: A When the road ahead is clear
Explanation: You should drive in the left-hand lane whenever possible. Only use the other lanes for overtaking or when directed to do so by signals. Using other lanes when the left-hand lane is empty can frustrate drivers behind you.
A Flash your headlights
B Sound your horn
C Switch on your hazard warning lights
D Switch on your headlights
Correct Answer: C Switch on your hazard warning lights
Explanation: Using your hazard warning lights, as well as your brake lights, will give the traffic behind an extra warning of the problem ahead. Only use them for long enough for your warning to be seen.
A Carefully change the wheel yourself
B Only change the wheel if you have a passenger to help you
C Try to wave down another vehicle for help
D Use an emergency telephone and call for help
Correct Answer: D Use an emergency telephone and call for help
Explanation: Park as far to the left as you can and leave the vehicle by the nearside door. Don't attempt even simple repairs. Instead, walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the road and phone for help. While waiting for help to arrive, stay by your car, keeping well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder.
A Carefully reverse along the hard shoulder
B Carefully reverse in the left-hand lane
C Carry on to the next exit
D Make a U-turn at the next gap in the central reservation
Correct Answer: C Carry on to the next exit
Explanation: It's illegal to reverse, cross the central reservation or drive against the traffic flow on a motorway. If you miss your exit, carry on until you reach the next one. Ask yourself why you missed your exit - if you think that your concentration is fading, take a break before continuing your journey.
A Attempt to repair your vehicle quickly
B Stand behind your vehicle to warn others
C Stop the traffic behind and ask for help
D Switch on your hazard warning lights
Correct Answer: D Switch on your hazard warning lights
Explanation: If you can't get your vehicle onto the hard shoulder, use your hazard warning lights to warn others. Leave your vehicle only when you can safely get clear of the carriageway. Don't try to repair the vehicle or attempt to place any warning device on the carriageway.
A Continuous high speeds increase the risk of your vehicle breaking down
B Motorway services areas don't deal with breakdowns
C The road surface will wear down the tyres faster
D You'll have to do more harsh braking on motorways
Correct Answer: A Continuous high speeds increase the risk of your vehicle breaking down
Explanation: Before you start your journey, make sure that your vehicle can cope with the demands of high-speed driving. You should check a number of things; the main ones being fuel, oil, water and tyres. You also need to plan rest stops if you're making a long journey.
A The driver wants you to overtake
B The other car is going to change lanes
C There's a police speed check ahead
D Traffic ahead is slowing or stopping suddenly
Correct Answer: D Traffic ahead is slowing or stopping suddenly
Explanation: If the vehicle in front shows its hazard warning lights, there may be an incident, stopped traffic or queuing traffic ahead. By keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front, you're able to look beyond it and see any hazards well ahead.
A The hard shoulder
B The left-hand lane
C The middle lane
D The right-hand lane
Correct Answer: B The left-hand lane
Explanation: You'll see the first advance direction sign one mile from a motorway exit. If you're travelling at 60 mph in the right-hand lane, you'll only have about 50 seconds before you reach the countdown markers. There'll be another sign at the half-mile point. Don't cut across lanes of traffic at the last moment - move to the left-hand lane in good time.
A They can't drive at night
B They can't drive over 30 mph
C They can't drive unaccompanied
D They can't drive with more than one passenger
Correct Answer: C They can't drive unaccompanied
Explanation: You won't be able to drive unaccompanied until you've passed your practical driving test. If you haven't driven on the motorway while you were learning, ask your instructor to take you for a lesson on the motorway when you've passed your test. Alternatively, you could take part in the Pass Plus scheme. This has been created for new drivers and includes motorway driving. Ask your instructor for details.
A Check your location from the nearest marker posts beside the hard shoulder
B Phone a friend and ask them to come and collect you
C Stand at the rear of the vehicle while making the call
D Wait in the car for the emergency services to arrive
Correct Answer: A Check your location from the nearest marker posts beside the hard shoulder
Explanation: You should use an emergency telephone when you break down on the motorway; only use your mobile if this isn't possible. The emergency services need to know your exact location so they can reach you as quickly as possible. Look for a number on the nearest marker post beside the hard shoulder. Give this number when you call the emergency services.
A When large vehicles are in the left and centre lanes
B When there are lane closures
C When there's slow-moving traffic
D When you can maintain a high speed
Correct Answer: B When there are lane closures
Explanation: If you're towing a caravan or trailer, you mustn't use the right-hand lane of a motorway with three or more lanes except in certain specified circumstances, such as when lanes are closed.
A Lower speed limits
B Road humps
C Temporary traffic lights
D Wider lanes than normal
Correct Answer: A Lower speed limits
Explanation: When approaching a contraflow system, reduce speed in good time and obey all speed limits. You may be travelling in a narrower lane than normal, with no permanent barrier between you and the oncoming traffic. Be aware that the hard shoulder may be used for traffic and the road ahead could be obstructed by slow-moving or broken-down vehicles.