Drive sensibly on our Highland roads
A page of advice about travelling by car in the Highlands and in Glencoe and Lochaber specifically.
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 Highlands is 60mph, but on many Highland roads this speed is dangerous due to bad road surfaces, windy roads, and very slow moving vehicles being driven by visitors in rental cars and motorhomes. Many sections of the A82 are now limited to 50mph.
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 car crash is horrific - mangled vehicles, dead people in cars, blood all over the place - and some poor souls have to clear it up!
This need not happen. All you have to do is:
CHECK YOUR MIRRORS FREQUENTLY - when traffic is building up behind you, its time to pull over!
CHECK YOUR SPEED - 50mph is quite a reasonable speed to travel - 35mph is not and other drivers consider it very selfish.
KEEP 20 metres behind the car in front!
USE PASSING PLACES and LAY-BYS
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.
DON'T STOP ON THE HIGHWAY - you will cause a road traffic accident !
If you are coming to the Highlands in a motorhome please consider the following:
Driving at 38mph is unacceptable if you don't pull over often to allow others to pass - use those huge wing mirrors to see the long queue of vehicles waiting to get past you
Parking in lay-byes overnight is a NO-NO ! There are many excellent holiday motor parks - 3 in Fort William so use them ! Contribute to our economy and use local parks. Check out Invercoe Holiday Park, Glen Nevis Holiday Park and Lochy Holiday Park
Be consideate - don't park in places where you block the road ahead and dont dump your toilet in our lay-byes
KEEP YOUR DISTANCE - AT ALL TIMES -
A minimum of 20 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?