Must-Know Road Trip Safety Tips

4 Highway Travel Rules to Live By

When you’re learning to drive, you probably do it on back streets and in empty parking lots. Perhaps a parent or an older sibling teaches you the basics. As you grow experienced, you can drive on busier roads during rush hour and other high-traffic situations.

You probably won’t get on the highway until you feel sure you’re ready. That’s because highway driving is one of the most intimidating situations you can encounter, short of driving in a blizzard or a pouring-down rainstorm.

On the highway, the vehicles go faster, and you sometimes encounter enormous trucks. You have to deal with speed demons and stop-and-go traffic. It all seems designed to test your novice driving skills.

There are a few highway rules you should follow if you want to remain safe at any age. Let’s discuss four of them right now.

Drive the Speed Limit

It’s probably going to be impossible to avoid highway driving if you want to get to where you’re going on time. Every state has highways, and the sooner you get comfortable on them, the better it will be for you. For instance, Illinois has 16,000 highway miles, and if you live there, you might need to take them to school or work.

If you drive the speed limit, you make getting in an accident a lot less likely. If you do speed, it’s probably okay if you go five miles faster than you should, but no more than that. A highway patrol cop will often let you get away with going 60 in a 55, but more than that, and you’re begging for trouble.

You should also not go much lower than the speed limit unless you encounter stop-and-go-traffic or poor weather conditions. You’ll hold up your lane if you try to go 30 in a 55 zone, and people have places to be.

Don’t Consume Alcohol Before You Drive

If you’re going to get out on the highway, don’t ever consume alcohol before you do. You probably learned that in driver’s education classes, and perhaps you know someone who has gotten a DUI. You might even know someone who lost their life in a drunk driving accident.

Even if you’re older and have lots of highway driving experience, that’s no excuse for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. You might have a false confidence sense and drive recklessly if you have a few adult beverages in your system. One wrong move at those speeds can have lethal consequences, so if you’ve indulged, call for a taxi or an Uber instead.

Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating the car ahead of you on the highway is rude, but it’s also potentially deadly. You might feel like they’re going too slow in the fast lane, and you want them to get out of our way. That’s the time that you might decide to ride their bumper in the hopes that they’ll move to the side.

You have no way of knowing why the vehicle ahead of you has slowed down. Perhaps there’s traffic ahead of them that you cannot see. Even if there isn’t, though, cars in the fast lane have no obligation to exceed the speed limit because you’re in a hurry.

They can always slam on the brakes, and you might rear-end them before you can stop. If that happens, their insurance company will consider the damage to be your fault since it was you who ran into them. If you want to get around a slow-moving vehicle, use the slow lane to pass them rather than tailgating.

Don’t Let Anything Distract You

You should not let anything distract you while you’re on the highway. You might daydream for a moment about your cute neighbor, and the next thing you know, you plow into the vehicle right in front of you if they have to brake suddenly.

Perhaps you’re looking at an enticing restaurant billboard, or maybe you decide now is the perfect time to send a tweet. You might also be in the middle of an argument with a backseat passenger, or you’re trying to find a better satellite radio station.

Any of those distractions can get you in a lot of trouble. On the highway, you’re going so much faster than on city streets, and changing traffic conditions can get on top of you in a hurry.

Drive safely on the highway, both for your sake and also for your loved ones who would hate to see anything happen to you.

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