This may sound strange, but it's important to know that just because a road has 2 carriageways does not necessarily mean that it is a 'dual carriageway'.
A dual carriageway is defined as 2 or more lanes in one direction with 2 or more lanes in the opposite direction, and this must be separated by a central reservation. A dual carriageway would also be clearly signposted as such when you approach the point at which the road splits into two lanes.
Dual carriageway slip roads
The same courtesy should be observed on dual carriageway slip roads as on motorway slip-roads. When joining the traffic you should try to join at a speed which is similar to that of the traffic you are joining and only if there is a sufficient gap in the traffic flow for you to do so safely without impeding other drivers. If you cannot do this then you MUST stop and wait until there is a large enough gap to pull into the lane, once again without forcing other vehicles to slow down.
By the same token if you are in the left hand lane of a dual carriageway and you notice that a vehicle is approaching the junction to join your lane, check your mirrors and your blind spot and if it is safe to do so, move into the right hand lane. This allows the approaching vehicle to join the carriageway without slowing down.
Once again the rules for dual carriageways and motorways are similar in as much as you should spend most of the time in the left hand lane, with the right hand lane being reserved for overtaking or turning right where you are permitted to do so. You must return to the left hand lane when you have completed your overtaking manoeuvre.
On a 3 lane carriageway the 2 extra lanes can both be used for overtaking and once again you should return to the left hand lane when you have completed your manoeuvre. Like on a motorway, you should not be tempted to hog the middle lane as this can cause frustration to those behind you who want to use the lane correctly.
Speed restrictions on dual carriageways
The speed restrictions on dual carriageways will depend on their location and the amount of traffic they have to deal with. Generally in non-urban areas the maximum speed limit is 70mph. This speed restriction may be lower in built up areas, so take observe these variations.
Many people still continue to drive at speeds that are inappropriate for the types of road they are on and for the weather conditions. Always drive within the speed limits of the road you are travelling on and adjust them downwards when weather conditions deteriorate.
Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front
You should always take care not drive to closely to any vehicle in front of you. As a minimum, you should try to allow 2 seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front. This distance should be increased for speeds of 50 mph or above, and at least doubled or more for poor weather conditions.
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