Driving on a highway can be both exciting and intimidating. While it offers a faster and more convenient way to travel long distances, it also comes with greater risks than driving on local roads that’s why you need to to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 35,000 people die in traffic crashes on U.S. highways every year. However, with proper preparation and attention to safety, you can significantly decrease your chances of getting into an accident.
Despite taking all the necessary precautions, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. If you find yourself involved in a car accident while driving on a highway, it’s essential to stay calm and seek immediate help. Car accident recovery services are specifically designed to assist drivers in such situations.
This article will cover some helpful tips for drive safely on highways.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before hitting the highway, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Regular maintenance checks, such as oil changes, tire rotation, and brake inspections, can help prevent mechanical failures that could cause accidents. Ensure your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth for good traction. Check your headlights, taillights, and turn signals to ensure they all work correctly.
Plan Your Route
Planning your route before you start your trip is always a good idea. Use a GPS or a map to familiarize yourself with the roads you’ll be driving on. Knowing where you’re going can help reduce stress and distractions while driving, allowing you to focus on the road ahead.
Keep A Safe Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance is essential to avoid collisions. Keep at least a three-second following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This distance should be increased in adverse weather conditions like rain or snow. Avoid tailgating, as it can increase the chances of a rear-end collision.
Use Your Turn Signals
Turn signals are an essential communication tool on the road, indicating your intentions to other drivers. Use them when changing lanes, merging onto the highway, or exiting. Signal your turns well in advance to give other drivers enough time to react. Failing to use turn signals can confuse and lead to accidents.
Highway driving can be monotonous, and getting distracted or losing focus is easy. To stay alert, take regular breaks and switch drivers if possible. Avoid driving when you’re feeling fatigued. Symptoms of drowsy driving include yawning, nodding off, and difficulty keeping your eyes open. If you experience any of these symptoms, pull over and rest until you feel alert enough to continue driving safely.
Observe The Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the leading causes of highway accidents. Always observe the posted speed limits, and adjust your speed to match road and weather conditions. Driving too fast can reduce your reaction time, making it harder to avoid accidents. Remember that the speed limit is the maximum, and driving slower is perfectly fine if you feel uncomfortable with the speed.
Distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents, particularly among younger drivers. Avoid texting, eating, or any other activity that diverts your attention from the road. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe spot and use hands-free devices.
Keep A Lookout For Other Drivers
Not all drivers on the highway will drive safely on highways follow the rules. Watch for drivers speeding, swerving, or weaving in and out of lanes. Be particularly cautious around large commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks, as they have limited visibility and take longer to stop.
Be Aware Of Weather Conditions
Weather conditions can greatly impact your ability to drive safely on highways. Rain, snow, and ice can reduce visibility and cause slippery roads, making it harder to control your vehicle. Always adjust your driving behaviour to match the weather conditions. Slow down, increase your following distance, and use your headlights to increase visibility.
Stay In Your Lane
Maintaining your lane is essential to prevent accidents on the highway. Use your mirrors and turn your head to check your blind spots before changing lanes. Avoid sudden lane changes or weaving in and out of traffic. If you need to exit the highway, use the appropriate lane and give other drivers plenty of warning.
Prepare For Emergencies
Despite your best efforts, accidents can still happen on the highway. Be prepared for emergencies by keeping a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and a spare tire in your vehicle. Know how to change a tire and jump-start your car in case of a breakdown. If you’re involved in an accident, pull to a safe spot and call for help.
Follow Road Signs And Signals
Highways have signs and signals to guide drivers and ensure their safety. Pay attention to signs indicating speed limits, lane closures, and upcoming exits. Observe traffic signals, such as stop signs and traffic lights, and yield to other drivers when required.