It’s the moment when you’re not certain whether you’ll live or die.
You put your foot on the accelerator, gear in fourth and pray that the other drivers will move to make you a space on their fast-moving motorway of doom.
At least, that was my experience when I first tried to join the M25, shortly after passing my test.
It took me a while to realise that other drivers will always make space for you when you join a motorway. For a while, I was terrified that they would refuse, and I would be accelerating to my death on the fast-disappearing slip road.
As it turns out, I’m still alive (yay for me).
Motorways are statistically the safest roads in the UK, but it’s difficult to believe that if you’re a novice to the whole experience.
For decades, it has been illegal for learners to drive on motorways. Next year, that will all change. See the official government statement here.
In an effort to make motorways safer, in 2018 learner drivers will be able to practice with an instructor in a car with dual-controls.
Although this may make motorways safer, the law change will mostly give new drivers confidence to drive on them in the first place.
Who can blame them? Even after my test, I needed my dad in the passenger seat the first few times, just to convince me that I wasn’t going to become a scrap-metal modern art piece.
Driving lessons aren’t just about learning to pass a test. They are, unsurprisingly, about learning to drive. There is little point training for a test if you’re not confident enough to drive once you pass.
So although some are resistant to the upcoming law change, I say bring it on. Let’s make the safest roads in the UK even safer. Let’s help people to actually drive.