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8 Ways to Stay Safe While Taking a Road Trip & Driving on the Highways

It’s summertime, which means many people are going on road trips across the country. Thanks to the absence of lockdowns, there are record numbers of people traveling this summer, compared to last summer. 

Most road trips often involve a lot of interstate or inter-city driving. That means hours spent on the road flooring your vehicle and just having a lot of fun. While it’s great to enjoy yourself during your road trips, you also need to stay safe. After all, we want you to go, have fun and then come back home safely. 

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the best safety practices that you’ll need on your long drives. If you practice these tips, you’ll enjoy your trip, and avoid auto accidents

Stay Focused and Be Alert

When most people drive within the city limits, they tend to just watch the cars in front and occasionally check their rear mirrors. Well, when you’re driving on the highway, you need to do more. 

Make sure to always scan the road ahead of the cars in front when possible. Also, check your rearview and side mirrors more frequently. This will help you spot potentially hazardous situations early on, so you can avert or avoid them. 

Ensure that Both Hands are Always on the Steering Wheel

This is not the time for leisurely driving with one hand on the wheel and the other somewhere else. 

Both hands have to be on the wheel to help you avoid any potentially dangerous situations like a blown-out tire or needing to avoid a head-on collision. You’ll have a better grip and control of the vehicle when both hands are on the steering wheel than when it’s just one hand. 

Watch Out for Potholes on the Road

Most highways are free of potholes but don’t take any chances. Pay attention to the roads so that IF you spot one, you can quickly dodge it. Running into potholes at full speed is a recipe for blown tires, damaged rims, and ghastly accidents. 

This is usually why there are highway speed limits to adhere to. But, just keep an eye out. If something seems out of place on the road, slow down and either put it in between your wheels or go around it. 

Keep a Healthy Distance Between You and Other Vehicles

If you like tailgating other vehicles or aggressive driving in the city, you need to stop that habit right away. Tailgating will get you killed –or injured at the very least– and will likely hurt other road users. 

This is why it’s considered illegal in many states in the country. Make sure to keep a healthy distance between you and the cars in front, behind, and beside you. This will give you a good reaction time if there’s any sudden emergency either on your end or that of other drivers. 

Keep the Speed Down

This is not the time for a fast and furious re-enactment. This is even more important when you’re plying routes that you’re unfamiliar with. Thankfully, there are high patrol officers and speed limits posted on most highways. 

But still, you need to keep your speed below the recommended limits. Otherwise, not only would you be putting yourself and everyone else at risk, you could get fined and even sent to jail. 

Be Careful About Blind Spots

One of the dangerous things about driving on the highway is other vehicles’ speeds. It’s possible to glance at the rear mirror now and see no vehicle, and do so again in 5 seconds, only to see another vehicle gaining fast on you, and rapidly approaching your blind spot. So always double-check your blind spots.  

A quick glance over your shoulder or the use of your peripheral vision can prevent accidents. Also, be extra careful while driving. For example, if you’re trying to overtake another vehicle and you see there’s another vehicle already doing that at full speed, never assume that you can match their speed. 

Never Do a Break Check in Front of Large Vehicles

You’ve probably seen the videos of people doing dumb stuff like overtaking a truck and then doing a brake check in front of them. That is the dumbest thing anyone can do, and the shortest route to the “other side” or an ER at the very least. 

Yet, people do this all the time. Remember a fully loaded truck requires a distance of at least two football fields to successfully bring the vehicle to a halt if necessary. So if you’re in front of them, and they need to brake suddenly, you better believe they’ll ram you from behind to salvage their load. 

After all most commercial truckers have affordable trucking insurance coverages, but you may not. Plus, you may be badly injured. So even if they’re able to pay for damages to your car or medical treatment, you may not be able to afford the deductibles. 

But, the damage would have been done and you would be in the hospital –IF you’re alive. So just be smart. If you need to do a brake check, look for an open field, veer off the highway and test your brakes there. 

Get Enough Rest Before the Journey

Never drive while you’re feeling sleepy or drowsy. That’s a surefire way to get in an accident. In fact, over 100,000 crashes are caused by fatigued drivers every year. This leads to about 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. 

 If you’re feeling tired and sleepy, either take some stimulants like coffee or just pull over and take a 15-30 minute power nap. You’ll feel refreshed and energized to continue driving afterward. 

Also, make sure to have your car checked before traveling. Pay attention to your tires and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t overinflate them as pressure builds up in them as you travel. 

In fact, manufacturers recommend 30-32 psi for vehicles plying the highway. This way, when the air warms up inside your tires, the pressures won’t be so much that you end up suffering a blowout.

 

Edel Alon
Edel Alonhttp://edelalon.com
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.
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