It’s officially road trip season. July is nearly here and we don’t know about you, but some of us have already started planning. Whether you take an annual trip or you’re feeling spontaneous, it’s always good to practice safe driving while you’re on the highway. Follow some of our helpful tips and you should be smooth sailing to your summer destination.
Apply the Rules Of the Road
We all know the rules of the road in the city (at least we should if we have a valid drivers license) so you should apply most of the same rules when it comes to driving on the highway:
1. When you see a car pulled over, they’re generally stopped on the ride side of the highway.
Be kind and switch to the left lane to give them some space. You never know if their body could come to close to the road while changing a tire, maybe they’re digging for a lost toy for their child, switching drivers, etc. Drive with caution and always give as much space as possible. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?
2. Use your blinkers!
We can’t stress this one enough. Even if you’re on a highway, the other drivers won’t assume where you’re going or when you decide to change lanes. Your vehicle signals are the only way we can communicate with other drivers, so just use them!
3. Keep a wide viewpoint and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Pay attention to what’s ahead, who’s coming up behind and also the road directly in front of you. Avoid staying in someone’s blind spot or matching their speed when they’re trying to pass you in the left lane.
Keep the Time In Mind
Whether you’ve taken this highway before or not, it’s always best to do some research before you head out. When are the busy times of the highway? Generally speaking, most highways are busing during the early morning and late evening when people are commuting to the city for work.
You also want to consider the sun being in your eyes or driving at dusk when it’s especially difficult for your eyes to adjust. This is also a peak time for animals to come out and attempt crossing the road. Be extra careful when driving at these times and have a passenger be a second set of eyes for you.
Make Use Of Handy Features
If you’re driving for a long distance, your vehicle may have extra features to make the experience more enjoyable. Maybe you have massaging seats to keep you comfortable, or maybe you’re like most of us out there that just enjoy the basics like cruise control.
Cruise control can be extremely helpful, as long as you continue to keep your attention on the road. It can help you maintain the same speed and potentially save you fuel in the long haul. However, it should not be used in wet or slippery conditions, any situation where your vision is restricted, or where the speed limit varies often.
Road Trip Ready
For more info on highway driving, visit SGI’s online Driver’s Handbook. They offer some great tips to keep in mind as well. Enjoy your road trips this summer and don’t forget to practice safe highway driving!