You might be one of the safest driver’s on the road, but that isn’t always enough to avoid an accident. There are roughly six million car crashes each in year in the United States, with highways being a hotbed for wrecks. Check out these highway driving safety tips that could save your life.
Leave Your Phone Alone
Everyone has heard about the dangers of texting and driving, but even answering calls or checking social media is equally as dangerous. At 55 miles-per-hour, you travel the length of a football field in five seconds. With your eyes off the road, you might as well be doing it blind.
The Left Lane is for Passing
There’s a lot of debate over what the left lane is for, but it is meant to be used to pass other vehicles on the highway. This allows everyone to drive safely at higher speeds by making passing another vehicle a simple task with ample space to do so. Plenty of accidents happen when people try to pass but don’t have the room to maneuver safely.
Speed Up on the Ramp
Some acceleration ramps are longer than others, but their purpose is for you to reach the highway’s speed limit before you merge. That doesn’t mean you should punch the gas, though. Just gradually speed up so your vehicle can blend right into the flow of traffic.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but one in seven Americans still refuse to buckle up. You are 30% more likely to be thrown from your vehicle without a seatbelt, greatly increasing your chances of death and serious injuries. Since drivers do not wear helmets, you’re also likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury after a car accident if you are ejected.
The faster you and other cars on the road are traveling, the more space everyone needs to react when someone brakes. If you’re too close to the car in front of you and they abruptly hit the brakes, you can guarantee an accident is about to follow.
It’s tempting to reach high speeds on the highway, especially when there aren’t a lot of cars on the road. However, speeding remains the number on cause of fatal accidents on the highway. Aside from the possibility of getting a ticket, it’s likely that something sudden will cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Be Considerate of Large Trucks
The highway is where you’ll find the majority of tractor trailers, which are involved in an alarming number of accidents. There are two safety tips to remember here. When you’re behind a truck, remember that they can’t see you if you can’t see the driver.
The second tip has to do with passing. Make sure you use your singles and change lanes with ample space in-between your vehicle and the truck. When you do merge back over, make sure you’re a few car lengths ahead first. This ensures they can see you and that they have plenty of time to maneuver if something unexpected happens.