Highway safety is a common concern shared by drivers globally.
Road carnage is an ever-present threat to drivers, potentially resulting in death, injury, etc.
Research by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2019, 36,096 people died in motor vehicle accidents. Driving on the highway requires drivers to observe the highest safety protocols, as the slightest distractions can prove fatal. So, do you want to know more about being safe on the highway? Please take a look at these points.
Manage road rage
Road rage is another major threat to drivers’ safety on the highway, responsible for several unpleasant outcomes for them.
Road rage is simply any form of angry or aggressive behavior displayed by a driver who is upset about how fellow drivers are driving. It typically manifests as tailgating, angry honking, yelling, cutting off another vehicle on purpose, intentionally ramming another car, and aggressive confrontation. You would undoubtedly be at one end of the road rage canker at a point in time because being frustrated by other drivers is unavoidable.
Regardless of what happens, experts recommend letting it go, ignoring other drivers’ reckless behavior instead of driving aggressively in response. Additionally, remember to use hand gestures wisely, avoid tailgating, excessive honking, and other aggressive behavior.
Limit your speed
Speed is one of the most appealing aspects of highway driving, luring several drivers into its dangerous snare. High speeds are appealing but can result in unpleasant outcomes for you and your passengers. Indeed, the Bureau of Transportation’s 2020 statistics indicates that speeding is a factor in about one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities in the country.
Speed is dangerous because the faster your drive, the less control you have over your vehicle. Also, your vehicle’s safety features will be less effective when you deploy them at high speeds.
Consequently, always drive below the recommended speed limits to boost your safety on the highway. However, it is still possible to get into a car crash due to other drivers’ overspeeding and other irresponsible driving behavior. Therefore, should you get involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, consider hiring an excellent car accident lawyer to help you through various issues that may arise after the accident, including insurance claims, litigation, and other settlement concerns.
Seatbelts are a standard safety recommendation that experts give to all drivers regardless of location or vehicle type. Seat belts are crucial because they keep you grounded in your seat during a crash, boosting your chances of surviving the crash’s impact.
The impact of a collision is sufficient to throw you around inside your vehicle. Even worse, you can be ejected through your windshield or side windows, increasing your risks of serious injury and death. As such, prioritize wearing your seatbelt always before moving your vehicle, irrespective of your trip’s length.
Encourage any passengers to do the same also, boosting every occupant’s survival chances as a result. Seat belts saved a reported 14,955 lives in 2017 alone, so they are undoubtedly worth wearing to remain safe while driving.
Keep an eye out for motorcyclists
As a driver, you share the road with other vehicles, including huge trucks, big rigs, and motorcycles. It is the shared responsibility of all drivers to ensure one another’s safety, especially that of motorcyclists. Motorcycles are now popular on the road, as many have traded their cars for more fuel-efficient bikes, leading to a spike in the number of inexperienced riders out there.
As such, you should always display particular caution when motorcyclists are nearby. Always keep a reasonable distance behind them in traffic, at least three car lengths minimum. Also, please turn off your high beams when you notice approaching motorcyclists while driving at night to increase their visibility.
Additionally, inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn, always stay in your lane, avoid cutting them off when switching lanes, and avoid braking suddenly. With motorcyclists in mind, you must also approach intersections more cautiously, as many accidents involving riders happen at intersections. Slow down to a complete halt, obey any surrounding traffic signals, look for approaching traffic both ways, and proceed slowly to avoid hitting any cyclist.
Eliminate blind spots
There are typically two blind spots that any approaching vehicles may occupy while you drive on the road. These blind spots are always in the area where your rear-view mirrors won’t cover on either side of your vehicle. However, blind spots needn’t be an issue since cars produced in the last 25 years have left and right side mirrors that can be adjusted to eliminate blind spots. To accomplish this, adjust your rear-view mirror to obtain an unobstructed view directly to your rear. Then, adjust your left side mirror till you can barely notice your vehicle’s left side.
Please do the same for your vehicle’s right side mirror, adjusting it till you can’t see your vehicle’s right side. Then, ensure that you can’t see your vehicle in any side mirrors when you return to your normal driving position. To verify your eliminated blind spots, identify a car one lane to the right or left coming up to pass you. Ensure that this car is in your left or right side mirror, remaining there until it passes you and appears in your direct line of sight.
Avoid impaired driving
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is another essential safety tip worth remembering out there. As per data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies in the country every fifty minutes due to alcohol-related impaired driving alone. Other drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and various narcotics also significantly contribute to crashes on highways. However, besides being injurious to your health, these substances can also impair your reasoning, judgment, and muscle coordination, increasing your reaction time and negatively affecting your chances of making safe choices behind the wheel.
Therefore, avoid driving under the influence of these harmful substances to uphold proper driving etiquette. Besides avoiding jail time, fines, and driver’s license revocations, you also preserve your life, health, and safety.
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