The highways of the United States of America are apparently some of the most dangerous places for motorists. According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the nation’s highways claimed the lives of over 36,000 people in 2019 alone. Highways can become death traps to the unwary and the less than careful because they are often busy and have much higher speed limits than other thoroughfares.
How can you ensure your vehicle and you are safe whenever you’re chugging along the nation’s highways? Below are 7 tips that can save your life while you’re driving.
1. Keep Windows Clear
Your car’s windows are the only way you can observe other vehicles and avoid collisions. Ensure you can see from all windows on your vehicle by removing unnecessary decals and stickers. These can create blind spots in your field of vision. You should also avoid heavily tinting your windows to keep a clear view of the road.
2. Mind the Markers
The lane markers and dividers on highways are vital for preventing accidents. Road marking paint for highways help separate fast lanes and lanes with other functions. Use their distinct colors and markings to remember which lane you’re in and make sure you belong in it. For example, if you’re not going to overtake a vehicle, stay well out of the overtake lane.
3. Keep Your Distance
Cars in highways are always in high speeds and you should be mindful of the distances between vehicles. If you don’t, you could accidentally rear end the car in front of you when it brakes or fail to avoid similar mishaps. Don’t press too closely to one vehicle in your lane and keep at least 10 feet away from them.
4. Give Trucks Space
Another frequent traveler on the nation’s highways is the cargo truck. These gargantuan vehicles speed along highways bearing freight and other goods to meet deadlines. Because they’re always in a rush, trucks can be very dangerous to stay close to. Give them a wide berth when you’re driving and avoid being too close behind them, especially if they’re carrying heavy cargoes.
5. Don’t Get Distracted
This may seem to be a commonsense advice, but drivers are still using their phones and not paying attention to the road in front of them. Although people are aware of the dangerous texting while driving, research indicates that the most common form of distraction among drivers is listening or adjusting the radio. You can use voice-activated radio apps on your smartphone in place of dials so you can keep your eye on the road and listen to music.
6. Check Blind Spots
A car is bound to have blind spots but you can reduce their size significantly and avoid sideswiping or colliding with a few tricks. First, sit on the driver’s seat and lean until your head is touching the window. Adjust the driver’s sidemirror until you can only see a bit of the left side of your car. Lean to the right, towards the passenger seat, until your head is in the middle of the vehicle. Adjust your sideview mirror until you can barely see the right side of the car. This should minimize your blind spots accordingly.
7. Take Plenty of Rest
Driving along a highway can be tiring and last for hours, especially if you’re crossing through multiple states. This can leave you fatigued and sleepy. When you find yourself getting tired, don’t pull over on the side of the road. Instead, look for a nearby rest stop or gasoline station. Pull over into their parking lot and get yourself a cup of coffee and a short nap. A little rest will go a long way in making sure you don’t get into any unfortunate incidents on the highway.
The open road is a place of both freedom and danger. Keeping these tips in minds will help may the nation’s highways a safer place for all travelers.