The 50/50 state / private -owned company has been building the other highway M-11 going round the major towns in order to avoid traffic jams … since 2006… The notorious daily traffic jam at Vyshny Volochek may take from 1 to 5 hours and entrenches upon hundreds of people's time. More schemes and photos here.
Here is a video of the M10 in the region of the Valday Hills: the road itself, the view, the traffic, you might be interested
if you wish to travel on your own. The driving is quite safe, you may take a rest in the larger towns on your way but not - villages which are plenty on the M-10. A Russian village is a very poor place that has very basic (if only any) infrastructure and facilities and you might not want to eat out in cafes and to go to the bathroom there.
There are some BP gas stations on the M10, which we prefer to any local cafes. When eating out at BP gas stations' cafes, you can be sure they are always tidy and a cup of strong coffee will certainly be provided.