Driving on a highway is obviously different than commuting on city streets or rural roads. They are significantly busier and higher speed limits lead to faster driving. For these reasons, many people are apprehensive or reluctant to drive on a highway. After all, getting into an accident on the highway could be quite troublesome. The procedure might involve contacting the police, consulting with a car accident lawyer, and even visit the hospital if your accident is severe enough.
While feeling this way is certainly understandable and it is impossible to control how other people drive and predict their every move, there are certain things you can do while driving on a highway to decrease your chances of being involved in an accident. Following the tips below will assist you to be safe while driving on a highway and hopefully make you a better, more confident driver!
1. Use signals
Signal lights are present in all vehicles so drivers can let others know when they intend to change directions. While this is pretty obvious and straight-forward, the reality is a large number of drivers do not use them consistently and this results in accidents.
Signal lights should be used at all times but especially on highways where traffic is heavy and speed limits are higher. Whenever you change lanes, use the signal light that corresponds with the direction you are turning. This will let vehicles behind you know that you are intending to change lanes and that they should give you the time and space to do so safely.
2. Be mindful of blind spots
Like signal lights, all vehicles come with blind spots. This is the space beside your vehicle that cannot be observed while you are driving, not even with your side mirrors. Many accidents have been caused because drivers do not check their blind spots before turning.
When driving on a highway, if you want to change lanes, be sure to check your side mirror to determine if a motorist is behind you in the lane that you wish to change to. Right after you do this, look over your shoulder in the direction you want to turn while still maintaining control of your vehicle. Doing so allows you to check the blind spot of your vehicle and if there is no vehicle there, you can then proceed to make your turn.
While it would be the fault of the other driver if he/she were to turn into your vehicle, it is recommended that you do not drive in a manner that puts you constantly in someone else’s blind spot. To prevent this, either drive a little slower than the car beside you so they can see you in their mirrors or pass them in the passing lane.
3. Keep space
As stated, highways can be hectic, busy, and fast-paced, making them a hub for accidents. Because of the volume of traffic on a highway especially at rush hours, it can be very difficult to keep space between you and the driver in front of you, but doing so will give you extra time to stop if you need to. Accidents occur all the time on highways and some drivers have been known to cut off others. As a result, extra space could give you the time that you need to avoid a serious accident.
When driving on a highway, try your best to keep at least 2 car lengths from the vehicle in front of you. This will give you more than enough time to stop if an accident up ahead occurs, if traffic slows to a stop, or someone cuts you off.
If you find yourself creeping up on the car in front of you from time to time, ease your foot off the gas pedal until you are once again at a safe distance back. If this keeps occurring and you see no reason for it, consider passing the car in front of you by changing to the passing lane when it is safe to do so.