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It doesn’t matter if you’re a new driver or a veteran of the road, driving on the interstate is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel. The sheer speed of travel and volume of other drivers make highways much less safe than smaller roads. Here are six tips for driving safely on the interstate.
Be Aware of Other Distracted Drivers
There’s an added benefit of not texting while driving: You are better able to look out for people who are doing it. Even if you make the commitment to not text while driving, there will always be others who ignore this advice.
If you identify a distracted driver on the interstate, safely keep your distance from them. It’s much harder to predict what someone will do when they’re texting or talking on their phone, as their focus isn’t on what’s happening in front of them.
Make Sure You Have All Key Vehicle Registrations
In the unfortunate event that you’re pulled over on the interstate, it’s important that you have these three things: license, insurance, vehicle registration. It’s the law that you have all these things with you when behind the wheel. Failing to do so will likely result in you having to go to court.
You can compare car insurance rates online to get a plan that works for your budget. This is a much better option than driving illegally.
Don’t Drive Too Close to Others
You see it every time you get on the interstate: People drive extremely close to one another, even at dangerously high speeds. Driving fast makes it harder to slow down. Tailgating is a great way to get in a bad accident.
Giving other drivers space makes interstate driving safer for everyone. Additionally, it’s a lot easier to merge on and off the road when cars aren’t driving too close together.
Don’t Fall Victim to Distractions
If you’re driving on the interstate, it probably means you’re going to be in the car for a while. Even if you’re not actually crossing state lines, getting on the interstate implies you’re trying to get between two somewhat distant points as fast as possible.
Whether you’re stuck in traffic, or just bored on your ride, you will likely feel tempted to check your phone while driving on the interstate. There is no safe way to text and drive. Taking your attention away from the road for even a second can lead to disaster. About a quarter of accidents in the U.S. are caused by someone texting. Don’t become a statistic.
Don’t Pass on the Right
There’s a reason why they teach you to pass on the left as opposed to the right. Yet, people still zoom down the right lane on the interstate.
It’s less likely that a driver will see you in their blind spot if you pass them on their right side. This is because the driver’s seat is on the left side, and it’s harder to see things quickly approaching from the right. This is especially true for truck drivers, who can have large blind spots on their right side.
If you need to drive faster than the rest of traffic, pass on the left. Doing otherwise is putting everyone in unnecessary danger.
Don’t Drive If You’re Too Tired
Many people on the interstate are driving long distances. If this is you, don’t push yourself too hard. Driving while tired is extremely dangerous.
Overtired drivers are responsible for tens of thousands of crashes every year. If you notice yourself dozing while behind the wheel, just do the safe thing and pull over at the next possible opportunity. It’s better to just take a nap than wake up in the hospital—or worse.
These are a few of the most helpful tips for driving safely on the interstate. Always be aware of your surrounding while driving on the highway, as it sometimes only takes one mistake for things to end in disaster.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.