When america Interstate Freeway System was created in 1956, it remodeled the way in which Individuals traveled. Upon its completion, these new freeways allowed us to drive cross nation for the primary time, protecting a whole bunch of miles between stops.
However over time, the identical parts that make freeway driving so handy – particularly excessive pace limits and the elimination of intersections – have additionally resulted in some dangerous habits.
At finest, these freeway driving errors are an annoyance to different drivers. And at their worst, they’ll put others in peril, resulting in accidents and severe accidents.
Beneath is our record of the 16 greatest errors folks make when freeway driving.
- Driving gradual within the left lane. Whereas legal guidelines differ barely from state to state, the left lane of a multi-lane freeway is usually reserved for quicker touring automobiles. Meaning until you’re passing or touring quicker than the movement of visitors, it’s best to hold your automotive to the suitable. Driving slowly within the left lane may cause visitors buildup and should even encourage drivers to take extra harmful maneuvers to overhaul you (like passing in the suitable lane or shoulder).
- Driving when drained. This will appear apparent, however we drive at our greatest once we’re awake and alert. Once you’re drained, your driving suffers. Actually, research have proven that being awake for greater than 18 hours could make you drive like you may have a blood alcohol stage of .05 (near the authorized restrict)! Not solely does driving when drained gradual your response time, however you may additionally go to sleep behind the wheel – which causes hundreds of crashes every year. So when you’re feeling drained, cease for a cup of espresso or pull over for a fast nap. (See additionally: Drowsy Driving: Is It Actually So Dangerous?)
- Not taking breaks on lengthy journeys. You don’t must be brief on sleep for fatigue to set in. That is very true on lengthy street journeys, when driving for hours on finish could make you’re feeling drained and fewer alert. So don’t let a want to succeed in your vacation spot shortly put others in danger. Cease and take a brief break each few hours. This may give everybody an opportunity to stretch their legs and will help you keep extra alert behind the wheel.
- Staying in a truck’s blind spot. Business vehicles are huge automobiles. Due to their dimension, they’ve huge blind spots, too. That’s a time period for the world a driver can’t see by wanting via their window or mirror. Should you’re travelling in a truck’s blind spot, the driving force could not notice you’re there – which may trigger them to by accident hit you. To keep away from driving in a truck’s blind spot, comply with this rule of thumb: Should you can’t see the driving force in his facet mirror, he can’t see you both.
- Rushing. On most highways within the U.S., a pace restrict shall be set someplace between 55 and 80 miles per hour. Driving in extra of the posted restrict could not solely earn you a dashing ticket – it may jeopardize the security of your self and different drivers. Our 2021 survey revealed the prime 5 explanation why drivers admit to dashing.
- Relying solely on security methods (and never your eyes and ears). Excessive-tech automobile security methods get an increasing number of superior with every new mannequin yr. Adaptive cruise management. Computerized emergency braking. Lane holding help. Blind spot monitoring. The record goes on… Every of those methods is designed to forestall accidents and hold drivers protected. And for essentially the most half, they do an incredible job. However this can lead to drivers relying an excessive amount of on their vehicles to do the driving, braking and accelerating for them. Bear in mind, these methods aren’t all the time excellent, and so they aren’t designed to scale back your accountability behind the wheel.
- Not utilizing your flip indicators. When altering lanes on the freeway, the regulation requires you to all the time use your flip sign. Nevertheless it’s not unusual to see automobiles zipping from lane to lane with out signaling. Utilizing your flip indicators helps stop accidents by letting different drivers know – and plan for – your actions.
- Preserving your brights on. On darkish, distant highways, visibility turns into particularly vital. Turning in your excessive beam headlights will permit you to see additional down the street, including upwards of 300 toes to your visibility. Not solely does this assist in navigating the street forward, however it might probably assist you to keep away from hitting an animal, like a deer. Nevertheless, holding your excessive beams on with different drivers on the street can grow to be a blinding security hazard. Don’t let your headlights put others in danger. Solely use your brights when different automobiles are at the least 500 toes away. Study extra in our associated article: The Driver’s Information to Headlights.
- Not yielding to oncoming visitors. Whereas freeway driving eliminates stoplights and intersections, you’ll nonetheless have to cope with automobiles merging on and off the street. When a automotive is approaching from an on-ramp, attempt to concentrate on oncoming visitors and provides them room to merge into your lane. In most states, the automobile on the freeway has the suitable of means. However adjusting your pace (or higher but, transferring over to a different lane) to permit one other automobile to merge safely can cut back the possibility of an accident.
- Not utilizing your mirrors. When switching lanes on the freeway, it’s best to all the time verify your mirrors and blind spots earlier than making a transfer. Be looking out for close by automobiles, together with these that could be shortly approaching on both facet. Fail to take action, and you may end up turning into the trail of one other automobile.
- Tailgating. In accordance with the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions make up almost 30 % of all accidents. And tailgating, or following one other automobile too intently, is a significant trigger. Tailgating is very harmful on the freeway since you journey such a terrific distance at larger speeds. That’s why consultants suggest following the “three-second rule” – permitting a 3 second hole to go an object after the automotive forward of you does.
- Highway rage. When coping with dangerous or thoughtless drivers, it may be simple to let your anger get one of the best of you. However when street rage takes over, it might probably result in an much more harmful state of affairs fueled by rash, aggressive habits. So take a step again and loosen up. Put issues into perspective. And when you encounter one other driver exhibiting street rage, do your finest to keep away from or de-escalate any confrontation.
- Poor passing etiquette. Have you ever ever tried to go somebody on the freeway, solely to have them speed up and match your pace? That is an instance of poor passing etiquette. Once you’re passing one other automobile (or are being overtaken), be sure each vehicles have loads of room to soundly execute the go.
- Inconsistent pace. One of the simplest ways to drive on the freeway is to maintain your automobile at a protected, constant pace. Utilizing your automotive’s cruise management is a good way to perform this. Continuously dashing up and slowing down just isn’t solely an annoyance to different drivers, it might probably additionally impede the movement of visitors.
- Exhausting braking. Smashing the brake pedal is an accident ready to occur – particularly at freeway speeds. To keep away from laborious braking, all the time preserve a protected distance behind the automotive in entrance of you and hold your eyes on the street always
- Distracted driving. We’ve all seen drivers cruising alongside the freeway with their eyes centered on a cellphone as an alternative of the street. It’s a habits that causes hundreds of accidents (and greater than 3,000 deaths) every year. Keep away from the temptation to make use of your cellphone whereas driving. Your security is all the time well worth the wait.
Getting the suitable safety isn’t a mistake
At Erie Insurance coverage, our promise is easy: to be there if you want us. Whether or not taking the street much less traveled or in your every day commute, you may rely on us to supply the safety you deserve – at a value you may afford. Name a native automotive agent close to you in the present day to study automotive insurance coverage from ERIE.