A Students Guide to Surviving the Drive to Uni

While we are all very well aware of the rule of the roads, after all we don’t get a license now unless we pass a test on it. But knowing the legal rules of the road and practising them can be two different things, especially if you’re trying to get up the M2 between the unforgiving driving hours of 7 and 9am, Monday to Friday.

With week 2 now being over, and the huge influx of people who will now be on the roads in the ‘rush hour’ traffic in the mornings, I have come up with a help list to make things that little bit easier for those who are driving this year.

DO

Please, and I cannot stress this enough USE YOUR INDICATORS! Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for miles on end, maybe not being at your most alert of the day and having a nippy Corsa swerve its away in to the tiniest of gaps, narrowly missing a front bumper all to gain a whole 0.002 seconds of their arrival time grinds my gears (excuse the pun). So please, if you see a gap come up stick your indicator on, wait a second to see if the gap widens and then proceed to move in to the gap. Its really simple if you think about it.

DON’T

Don’t, for the love of all that is holy on this earth, sit at the sound defying speed of 60mph on the M2. 70mph is the speed limit for the motorway and for the most part this is the general speed of all of the cars around you. Driving at a considerably lower speed to the surrounding cars as well as dealing with the large number of cars on the road, can be very infuriating. You may be in plenty of time for your class, but that does not mean to say it’s okay to hold up a whole road for the

DO

Show some acknowledgement to your fellow drivers, a wee smile here, a wave there, a flash of the hazard lights- it’s the little things. Let the driver behind know that your appreciative that they are holding back the drivers behind them to let your F Type Jag in in front of you. Us fellow drivers aren’t asking for a lot, we don’t want to you send us a thank you note we just want some love for our hassles.

DON’T

Use your horn accordingly. Don’t be blaring the horn for the sake of it, or because someone couldn’t get changed lanes, after all there is an unbelievable amount of cars on the roads between 7am and 9am and getting changed lanes quickly is not the easiest of feats. So please don’t alarm other drivers. Its early, we’re all in the same boat, none of us realistically want to be awake at that time of the morning so please, stay chill.

DO

Plan ahead. This I can’t make this any clearer! It will be your saving grace and will take an enormous amount of pressure off you for your first drive. The M2 is unforgiving, it’s a free for all and as my mummy would say many drivers you would think got their licenses out of Barrys. So do yourself, and all of us a favour and plan your journey. Google it, stick it on your phone, do whatever you need to do to keep yourself right. Make sure you know where you’re going, how long its going to take you and know what lane you need to be in and when you need to change. Those who don’t know where they are going stand out like sore thumbs in the mornings- the changing lanes frequently, the slowing down coming to slip ways, drivers know the signs.

DON’T

The final point in my survival guide to the M2, is by far the most important. If you want to avoid being honked at, lights flashed at you and really avoid any other forms of drivers trying to grab your attention. MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. Yes it is very daunting seeing the road move in to 6 lanes, signs everywhere and really it looking like the opening scene to Disney Pixars Cars- but move out of the way. Other drivers know where they are going and the frustration of someone sitting in a lane in front of them tootling along can be the most irritating thing on the planet. To be totally honest, it’s for your own good.

Niamh Magee is a second year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at Twitter: niamhmagee_ and Instagram: neevmagee

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