The same conveniences we enjoy as drivers in the United States have also resulted in some bad habits over time. When drivers commit these bad habits, they are putting both themselves and other drivers on the road at risk of harm. Here are the biggest mistakes drivers make when driving on the highway.
- Driving slowly in the left lane.
Generally speaking, the far left lane is typically reserved for vehicles traveling at higher speeds. The unwritten rule here is that unless you are passing or moving faster than the flow of traffic, you should keep your vehicle to the right. Using the left lane when you are driving slowly or not keeping up with traffic may result in traffic buildups. When other drivers see this, they may feel encouraged to make more aggressive moves on the road.
- Driving when you’re tired.
When we are tired, our ability to focus is greatly affected. Also, our reaction time may be compromised as well. These are dangerous realities that make our roads much more dangerous for ourselves and other drivers on the road. If you feel tired, pull over to the side of the road or take the nearest exit to a rest stop. Make sure you rest before continuing your journey.
- Not taking breaks on long trips.
Have you ever been driving along for long stretches at a time with nothing but the open road in front of you? During these moments, we may feel more compelled to speed. After all, there aren’t any police around. Why shouldn’t we do everything we can to get to our destination faster? The answer is simple. We could lost control of our vehicle. It is also possible to feel fatigue when we have nothing around us to stimulate our minds. Unfortunately, long stretches of road have the ability to have that effect on us. If you know you are about to embark on a long journey, plan rest points ahead of time. Doing so will keep both yourself and other drivers safe.
- Staying in a truck’s blind spot
Commercial trucks are big vehicles. Because of this, they tend to have large blind spots too. The general rule of thumb is if you cannot see the driver in his side mirror, he can’t see you either. Be cautious when driving near these big commercial vehicles.
We are all aware of the fact that there are speed limits on roads and highways. They are there for a reason. Exceeding these speeds limits can put you and other drivers in a dangerous situation. Also, nobody likes paying speeding tickets.
- Relying only on technology and safety systems
Your best defense against getting into a serious accident is you. While cars have become more advanced with technology over the years, you should not solely rely on your car’s technology systems like automatic emergency braking or your blind spot indicator lights to keep you safe. Use your eyes and stay focused behind the wheel. You and your ability to focus are your best defenses against a serious auto accident.
- Not using your turn signals.
When you use your turn signal, you are alerting other cars around you of your plans to move to different lanes. These turn signal lights are meant to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.
- Keeping your brights on.
When driving at night, it makes sense that you would want to use your high-beam lights. After all, they afford you up to 300 more feet to your visibility. However, it is important to remember that as you are going in one direction, other cars are likely coming towards you in the opposite direction. And, these high-beam lights can seriously impair the oncoming driver’s vision, possibly resulting in an accident. It’s okay to use your bright lights, but turn them off once you see a car coming in your direction.
- Not yielding to oncoming traffic.
You won’t see traffic lights or intersections while you’re driving on the highway. However, you will see cars attempting to merge onto the highway. Oftentimes, these cars are traveling at considerable speeds. It’s important to give them enough time and room to merge safely. Adjust your speed or move over to another lane to make room for these merging vehicles. Doing so may prevent an accident from occurring.
- Not using your mirrors.
Your side mirrors are meant to give you the ability to see cars next to you and behind you. Always check your mirrors before attempting to switch lanes. And remember, always use your turn signal before making your move.