Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in highway accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,261 people were killed in highway collisions in 2008 alone. While some of these accidents happened so suddenly that they were unavoidable, in other instances driver behavior or dangerous conditions led to a deadly accident that could have been avoided. Knowing how to drive safely on a highway can help to minimize your risk of an accident.
Highway Safety Tips
Many drivers get so used to driving on roads and highways that they may forget to take some very simple safety steps that could save a life in a dangerous situation. The following is a list of tips that can help to keep you safe on the highway:
– Look ahead. Staying alert of the situation in front of you is a key part of driving safely on the highway. This can help you to anticipate changes in speed ahead or upcoming obstacles that could be an accident risk.
– Maintain a safe following distance. Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you gives you time to react to sudden changes on the road. If a car in front of you slams on its brakes or drops debris onto the road, a safe following distance gives you the lag time that you need to react and avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
– Follow the speed limit. Traveling at the speed limit helps to facilitate traffic flow on crowded highways. Vehicles are more predictable when they are all traveling roughly the same speed. Also, speeding on curves on highways can lead to a rollover accident or may cause a car to swerve off of the road in inclement weather.
– Check your blind spots. Side mirrors have blind spots in which other vehicles may be hidden from view. It is important to always do a quick one-second head check by turning your head slightly to look for a vehicle in your blind spot before changing lanes.
– Signal properly. Always use your signals when you intend to change lanes or exit or enter the highway. Without a signal, other drivers do not know what you plan to do, and miscommunication could result in a serious accident.
While these tips can help to minimize your accident risk, sometimes even the most careful drivers are involved in severe highway collisions. It is important to make sure that you are appropriately covered with car insurance that protects you from liability and also covers your injuries and damages should you be involved in an accident