No matter how long of a drive you have ahead of you, driving on the highway comes with its fair share of challenges. Not only are you driving at a high speed, but changing traffic patterns, construction, and other drivers being less aware than you can all contribute to situations that can cause stress. Safe driving practices are fairly easy to implement and can prevent a collision or other issues that can cause damage to your vehicle, yourself, or others. Of course, you never want to have an accident or anything like it, so here are some tips for things to look out for when you are driving on the highway. Remember, being safe is fairly easy and it can go a long way!
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before you ever put your foot on the gas pedal to head on a trip that involves highway driving, make sure your car is fully prepared. Highway trips are very demanding on your car and unlike regular driving within your community, the high rate of speed can cause wear and tear on your vehicle. You will want to check basic items such as fluid levels, wiper functionality, tire pressure, brake responsiveness, and check for any leaks. You will also want to make sure that all of your lights work, including tail lights.
Be On the Defensive
You always want to be a defensive driver. This means that you should consistently be on your toes and aware of other drivers’ actions. For example, a driver could cut you off or swerve into your lane at a moment’s notice. You need to be prepared to adapt, otherwise, you risk a collision. Another example of defensive driving includes unforeseeable issues on the roads such as deer, or rocks that may fly out from the vehicle in front of you. If even the smallest of rocks or other items hits your windshield at such a high rate of speed you may end up with a cracked windshield or even need a full windshield replacement.
Finally, it is incredibly important to avoid tiredness while driving on the highway. Many people believe that turning to coffee or other kinds of caffeine will cure any tiredness they may be feeling, but it is actually only a quick fix and the caffeine boost could wear off when you are on a part of the highway that is more isolated and you begin to relax. Some of the signs that it is time to find a place to pull over and rest include heavy eyelids, blurred vision, a drowsy feeling in your head or body, and daydreaming. If you are feeling tired, your reaction time will be impaired, which can lead to an accident with your vehicle and possibly others.
These are three of the most important things to look out for when you are taking a trip on the highway. Remember, your safety also ensures the safety of other drivers on the road.