Summer is the perfect time to hit the road, but it’s also a time of year when there’s plenty of extra traffic. Whether you’re heading to work or going on the open road for a summertime vacation, staying safe on the highway is paramount. Before you buckle up and gas up, read on for a few helpful tips that will keep you and your passengers safe on America’s highways.
Mind Your Speed
Depending on where you drive, the average highway speed limit can be anywhere from 50 mph to as high as 85 mph. Always observe the current speed limits so you can keep up with the flow of traffic and avoid a speeding ticket. When you go over the limit, it can be a serious safety hazard to everyone on the road. Adjust your speed according to the weather, too. If it’s raining buckets outside, you might want to drive a little bit slower than you normally would, just to stay safe.
Keep a Good Distance
A common problem with highway drivers is tailgating or following too closely. Not only will this bad habit annoy other drivers, but it’s also a seriously dangerous way to drive. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If they suddenly need to slam on their brakes, you should have at least three seconds of stopping time between the two of you. This simple driving habit can be a huge factor in reducing your odds of getting into an accident.
Watch out for Semi Trucks
The entire country relies on these huge trucks to transport goods throughout the nation. Unfortunately, these massive vehicles have to share the road with the rest of us. There are around 3.2 million truck drivers in the United States at any given time, so it’s important that you share the road with them safely. Give big semis plenty of space when you pass or merge in front of them, and always use your blinker. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the trucker in their side mirror, then they likely can’t see you, either. Never cut off a semi-truck as this can cause the driver to lose control.
Stay to the Right
Depending on the state, the left lane may be considered the passing lane. This means if you’re not trying to pass a slow vehicle, you should remain in the right lane. A few states post signs reflecting this law, and sometimes a police officer may pull you over and write you a ticket. Try to remain either in the right or middle lanes as you’re driving on the highway so faster drivers can pass safely on the left. With these simple driving tips, you’ll have a much safer experience on America’s highways.
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