Safe Highway Driving

Highways can be busy and sometimes dangerous if you aren’t prepared. Not all highways are busy, but if you come upon a busy area and you aren’t used to the traffic, you may become easily flustered. Not all drivers are aggressive, but may tend to be when they are faced with heavy traffic day in and day out.

If you can’t avoid a busy and confusing stretch of highway, you should remember to practice defensive driving. You don’t know how tired the people around you may be, not to mention distracted or rushed they are. These ingredients may lead to an accident in the worst possible place.

Timing

Leave early. You are more likely to get frustrated with other drivers and make mistakes if you are worried about being late. Give yourself plenty of time so you can be worried about your driving, not losing your job because you got caught in heavy traffic.

Space

Everyone needs space on the road to drive safely. If you travel too close to the person in front of you, you will hit them if they brake suddenly. Keep at least four car lengths between you and the car in front of you. When a car is riding too closely behind you, signal them with your four-way blinkers to let them know they need to go around you.

Exits

On especially busy highways, many drivers miss exits because they didn’t know where it was and couldn’t get over in time. If your exit number is coming up, get over into the right lane so you can get off easily. Be vigilant if you are in the right lane when an onramp is coming up, some aggressive drivers will cut in front of you and shoot out into other lanes without warning.

Stress

On a particularly busy and congested highway, you may find yourself feeling stressed. Don’t let it get the best of you. Pull off the nearest exit or rest stop to cool off.

Aggressive Drivers

If someone is tailing you and driving erratically, let them pass. If you try to speed up or don’t let them get around you, you could trigger road rage. You never know what someone is thinking or what he or she may do if angered. You are better off just letting it go.

Stopped Cars

Always be on the look out for cars stopped along the highway. If at all possible, get a lane away when passing them. Someone may choose the wrong moment to exit their car and you could hit them. Be watchful for bicycles and pedestrians as well.

Sleep

Never drive when you are overly tired, even if you think it’s an emergency. Sleeping drivers cause most highway accidents. People can nod off for a moment or two without even realizing it and that is all it takes for an accident to occur. If someone on the road in front of you seems to be weaving and not completely in control of their vehicle, slow down and back off. You don’t want them to slide over into your lane and hit you.

Be Alert

The most important thing to do is to be alert. Expect that at any moment, anything can occur. Keep off of your phone and cut conversations with passengers to a minimum in especially heavy and fast moving traffic.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let anyone else dictate your driving, no matter how aggressive or impatient they seem to be. Allow yourself plenty of time and keep distractions to a minimum. Being late is a lot better than not showing up at all.

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