The system of automatic toll collection without tickets and without making payments at gates!
Before You start your journey
Prepare carefully for your journey. Check the weather forecast and plan the route in detail. If possible check for possible traffic congestions.
Before setting off, check your car for its technical fitness, for instance the tyre pressure, oil level. See whether you have enough fuel in the tank and windscreen liquid.
Arrange your baggage in the car or boot so as to prevent its shifting while driving or rapid braking.
Plan your journey so that you have enough time to give yourself a break, especially if you have a long way to go.
Never sit behind the wheel if you have had an alcoholic drink, whatever the reason. Even the tiniest alcohol content in the blood reduces driving skills. Being tired, you also run a higher accident risk.
Buckle up, before you begin the journey. Make sure that all vehicle occupants are wearing seatbelts as well. Remember that in the event of a control, you as the driver are responsible for all passengers to wear seatbelts. Check, when applicable, whether the special child seat is properly and firmly buckled. Statistics clearly show that this simple act, to buckle up, may save your, or your loved ones life!
You can use the motorway provided your vehicle, trailer included if any, can travel at a minimum speed of 40 km/h. The speed limit on the A1 and other Polish motorways is 140 km/h.
When entering the motorway make maximum use of the acceleration lane to adapt your speed and aim at a smooth entry into the traffic lane. By all means try to avoid stopping. Being immobile, you will find it harder and more dangerous to join the traffic. You will also need special concentration when leaving the motorway. While approaching the exit keep to the slow lane in time and use the deceleration lane to reduce speed before truning off the motorway. If you miss the exit, never attempt to reverse, even along the emergency lane. Doing so you will create an immense threat which may carry grave consequences. Instead continue to the next exit, it will not take more than a few minutes.
The main traffic travels along the outer lane. The inner lane is reserved for overtaking. Before changing lanes ensure that there are no fast moving vehicles approaching and always indicate your intention to do so in good time before you change the lane, then return to the right once you have completed your overtaking manoeuvre.
Do not follow the car preceding you too closely. It is assumed that a proper distance between cars is half of the travelling speed, i.e. if you travel with 100 km/h then the safe distance is 50 m, another thumb rule is to allow minimum 2-3 seconds between your car and the one in front. Adjust your travelling speed to the conditions on the road.
The situation on the motorway changes very quickly. The travelling speeds are high. Therefore, you must be alert and in full control of your car. Anticipate the developments observing the traffic around your car. Be constantly aware of your own speed. You will not be in full control, if you read the map,sms or documents, eat or drink. If you need to do any of these things, stop at the nearest service area. Talking on the telephone means you lose your focus on driving. Instead, with your own safety and the safety of those travelling with you in mind, switch to call forwarding mode and call back later, as a minimum use the mobile loudspeaker system – it is illegal to talk in a handheld device. If needed, stop at the nearest service area to read the received messages or call back. Be particularly cautious when close to a TIR truck, lorry, or any large vehicle.
Stopping on the motorway is forbidden. The extra shoulder lane beyond the continuous line is not a parking lot! It is there for emergencies only. The only place on the motorway where you can stop is a dedicated car park or service area. Reversing or making U-turns on the motorway are forbidden. The same applies to towing even only to the nearest exit or service area. Apart from being illegal carrying high fines it is extremely risky, both for you and for other vehicles travelling on the motorway.
Whatever your manoeuvre, do it smoothly and calmly. The most frequent causes of incidents on the motorway include the loss of control of the car when rapidly changing the lane. Remember, your car, dashing at motorway speed, responds differently than when driving in the city.
The moment you notice the first symptoms of accumulating traffic, slow down. Drivers have developed a good custom of turning on warning lights while approaching a traffic jam ahead. Your lights will warn the others behind you and the risk of a multiple car crash will go down substantially. However, you should only turn on the warning lights seeing the car line behind you building up. Hopping between the lanes to move faster is most strictly forbidden. However, if another driver presses on changing into your lane, let him/her do it. When the number of free lanes is reduced and the traffic builds up, the zip rule steps in: the drivers go close to the obstacle before merging and then take turns coming in from the left and right.
If you feel you are getting tired or sleepy, stop at the nearest service area. A 15-minute rest and stretch is recommended every two hours, especially on a long journey.
In the event of an emergency
Wearing a reflective vest is an absolute must. It does not matter, whether you intend to change a tyre, or replenish your windscreen liquid, or perhaps you are giving first aid to an injured person, or walking along the emergency lane to reach the nearest emergency phone.
If you cannot avoid stopping because your car has broken down, get it as far right as you can. If possible, leave the car through the right door facing the road shoulder. Take your passengers out and lead them beyond the side barrier. If you are travelling with a pet, leave it in the car, or keep it under close control behind the barrier.
Get help if your car has broken down or is involved in a crash. You can use the emergency telephones along the motorway. You will find one every two kilometres on each side of the road, therefore never cross the motorway to reach an emergency phone. If you have a mobile phone on you, it will be quicker, i.e. safer to use it straight away. Call the emergency number: 112, or the Motorway Management Centre directly at: +48 58 530 66 66. If the incident involves victims, follow the road accident procedure.
In the event of your car stopping or a motorway incident, the first thing to do is to warn others. Turn on your warning lights and put up the warning triangle. You can actually use anything to warn the oncoming drivers – anything that will be visible at a distance like e.g. extra strobe lights on the roof. In practice, instead of warning others, drivers inspect the damages and estimate their loss. Remember, a warning from you translates to safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users. Do not take the oncoming cars by surprise. Before you choose the place for your warning triangle check whether you are not out of view because of a bend or a hill you have just negotiated. The braking distance on the motorway exceeds 100 metres. At the speed of 140 km/h the stopping distance can even be 200 metres since the response time is also longer. Therefore, for safety, you can put up your triangle at least 100 metres ahead of your car. Extending the distance is not against the law. You will contravene the regulations, if you put your warning sign right behind the vehicle or neglect to put it up at all in belief that the warning lights will suffice. They will not be enough. While carrying the triangle keep to the road shoulder, do not walk on the lane. Walking on the road is very dangerous and you are becoming a real threat to safety.