Safe Highway Driving
Basic Guidelines To Help You Travel With Confidence
Safe highway driving is a concern that is increasing as cities become more congested and more vehicles are flying down the road at high speeds in close proximity to one another.
My dear mother-in-law has gotten to the point where she avoids highway driving like the plague. :) I'm sure she won't mind me telling you this, but she finds driving on congested roads to be quite stressful.
She's happy to drive an extra 20 minutes along the much slower back roads to achieve her destination if she's able to keep off the main roads.
That's not an ideal solution for me because I like to almost always take the shortest distance between two points. Does that sound like you, too?
Getting where you want to go fast usually means you take the highway.
There are exceptions, of course, and that usually includes things like avoiding the main roads during rush hour and being aware of accidents that have slowed traffic or even brought it to a standstill.
The more you drive in your own familiar territory, the more you will learn about what roads to avoid at particular times of the day, etc.
But let's go beyond the idea of just avoiding the main roads and highways. Let's talk about some tips on safe highway driving that will enable you to stay in the fast lane with confidence.
5 Tips On Safe Highway Driving
- Safe driving starts with a safe vehicle. I know repairs and upkeep can be expensive, but it's worth it to ensure not only your safety but your sanity when you are driving on the interstate. Bald tires, worn brakes, wipers that aren't clearing the windshield properly, etc., are all issues that can lead to an accident.
- Try to know ahead of time where you are going. If you are taking a highway for the first time in an unfamiliar area, it's a wise decision to have a good look at the map (online or offline) before you go. Take special notice of the exit before the one you intend to take so that you will have plenty of time to make your way into the lane you need to be in to safely exit the highway without cutting off someone else.
- Most highway driving involves high speeds. I know most Americans tend to drive at least 10 miles over the speed limit on major interstates. I'm not going to hound you about that. If the police in your area don't mind, who am I to complain? I just want to caution you about following too closely when you are driving at such high speeds. It only takes a split second for the person in front of you to encounter a problem. If you're too close on his tail, you won't have any reaction time at those speeds. Keep your distance and stay safe.
- Slow down during bad weather. Just last week my brother-in-law had an accident on I-65 in northern Indiana. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, but his vehicle was totaled. The cause? Icy roads. We all can fall foul of black ice, but you'll have a better chance of avoiding a collision if you are alert and prepared. Rain, sleet, and snow impair your vision and change the condition of the road without warning. Adjust your speed and your attention to detail accordingly.
- Take frequent breaks when on a long journey. The longer you drive without stopping, the easier it is to zone out and lose your concentration or even fall asleep at the wheel. A good rule of thumb is to stop for 5-10 minutes every 2 hours and have a quick walk around, use the bathroom, get a drink. :)
Safe highway driving is a topic that may not be the most exciting to contemplate, but it is remarkably important. I hope these tips will help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road this year.
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