Motorway driving

On a motorway the traffic going in opposite directions is separated by special barriers. You are not allowed to stop, turn or reverse on a motorway. Access to motorway is forbidden to pedestrians, cyclists, mopeds, tractors or motorized equipment. Motorways are only designed for vehicles which can develop speed of over 40 km/h.

Speed limit on a motorway

The most common speed limit on motorways in Sweden is 110 km/h. However, speed limits may vary at certain stretches of a motorway, which is indicated by special signs. The speed limit in certain parts of a motorway may be as low as 70 km/h or even lower if there are road works. Usually near cities or on inner-city motorways the speed limit is lower than 110 km/h. 

Driving on a motorway

When you enter a motorway you must give way to the traffic which is already travelling on a motorway. It is very common for motorways in Sweden to have special acceleration lane which makes it easier for vehicles to increase the speed and enter the motorway safely. It is the responsibility of a vehicle entering a motorway to give way to the traffic which is on the motorway, if necessary you must stop and wait while there is enough big gap in motorway traffic for you to enter the motorway safely. Vehicles travelling on a motorway may facilitate your entry by slowing down or changing to a further lane, but you should not rely on this. You bear the responsibility not to disturb other road users when you enter a motorway. When there is no acceleration lane, you will have give way sign. You have to slow down and make sure you can enter the motorway safely, or stop until it is safe to enter. 

When exiting a motorway you should first regroup to the exit lane and only then slow down. This way you will avoid disturbing other motorway users travelling behind you. After you regroup to the exit lane you should slow down considerably in order to smoothly enter into a sharp bend which usually follows after a motorway exit. At the motorway exit you will usually see the speed limit sign which applies to the exit lane. Note that after high motorway speeds there could be a risk of speed blindness. 

Keep distance

Keeping distance is crucial at high motorway speeds. Inadequate distance to the vehicle in front is a common cause of accidents on motorways. At high speeds the distance should be much longer than the distance you keep in the city traffic. Keeping insufficient distance becomes even riskier in bad weather conditions such as fog or icy or wet road surface. Every winter multiple collisions happen on motorways due to icy road conditions and insufficient distance to the vehicle in front. Never underestimate the importance of keeping good distance, especially when driving on a motorway.

Motorway dangers

While travelling on a motorway drivers face certain risks which they have to be aware of and know how to deal with. One of such risks is aquaplaning on wet road surface. Aquaplaning can happen on any road, but the risk of aquaplaning on a motorway is higher due to high speeds. 

Breaking down on a motorway puts you and your passengers at risk due to high speeds of other road users. In case your vehicle breaks down on a motorway, you should park it on hard shoulder as far away from the carriageway as possible. You should place a warning triangle well behind your vehicle, if it is safe to do so. If the vehicle needs to be towed away, call emergency services as soon as possible. 

The monotony of driving is another risk for motorway drivers. Travelling on a motorway can become very tedious which can lead to the loss of concentration or even a microsleep. If the driver is tired the risk of microsleep is very high on a motorway. To fight tiredness you should make sure the air in the salon remains cool. Also avoid heavy meals while on a long journey. Falling into microsleep often results in one-car accidents when the vehicle ends up in the ditch. To avoid this you should notice your fatigue signals early enough and take breaks from driving. Read more about fatigue signs and the danger of fatigue here.