Most of us enjoy taking road trips. A weekend getaway or a week-long adventure trip; whatever type of drive or season it is, getting away with friends and family is one of the most simple vacations to take. While the thought of a driving vacation is appealing, there are several criteria you should follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Our country’s road conditions are unpredictable, especially on roads with no traffic police; it’s really a jungle out there. As a result, you must be extra cautious in these situations. So, before you embark on that road trip, keep the following points in mind.
1 Pick a speed and stick to it
When it comes to highway driving, one of the most disregarded variables is speed. Highway speeds are easy to maintain because roads are larger and traffic is often light. If there are signs indicating an 80kph speed restriction, use them as a guide and stay close to them. They are largely for your safety and the safety of others on the road, and you should always make an effort to follow them. This, however, is not simple. To begin with, there is no enforcement, and you frequently try to keep up with the rest of the traffic, all of whom are likely to be traveling too fast. As a result, the best thing to do is examine the road, observe the conditions, and determine your pace. Wet streets,
2 Lane changing
Changing lanes is one of the most important driving maneuvers. It is especially important on highways, where the majority of vehicles travel at high speeds. If you get it wrong, the consequences might be severe. Driving in the incorrect lane is one of the most common errors. Recognize the speed disparities between lanes before changing lanes and adjust your vehicle’s speed accordingly. The right lane is only for overtaking. The fast lane is frequently used as a supplemental driving lane. A slow-moving vehicle can be dangerous in this situation. If you need to change lanes, make sure you give the proper signs and keep an eye on the speed difference. Make a move only when you are certain there is one.
3 Keep a safe distance between vehicles
Maintain a safe gap between your car and others around you while driving on the highway. Traffic is usually unpredictable, and you never know when the vehicle ahead of you may suddenly break. A safe space between you and that car gives you ample time to brake or avoid a collision. Always adhere to the three-second rule. Look for a bridge or a signboard as a reference point and time your journey once the car in front of you passes it. It is recommended that this time be kept to a minimum of 3 seconds. Increase that time to roughly 5 seconds at night. Drive extra cautiously if there is severe rain or fog.
Overtaking is another important feature of highway driving. According to a recent analysis, the majority of accidents on high-speed highways are caused by a lapse in judgment when overtaking. While overtaking, the primary points of concern are correct judgment and time. First, predict the speed of the vehicle in front of you by taking a long, hard look at it. Consider a video rather than a snapshot; the former will help you gauge speed. Before pulling out of the lane, look for vehicles approaching from behind. Check that you have the proper equipment. A higher gear will take longer, thus shifting to a lower gear is recommended. After passing the car, do not abruptly return to the driving lane. Fill the void
5 Appropriate signaling
As much as you should be aware of the movements of vehicles around you, you should also alert other motorists on the road of your own movements. When changing lanes, always indicate, and if you see a diversion or an obstruction ahead that needs you to brake suddenly, switch on your hazards well before stopping and begin slowing down. When returning to the highway after a halt, make careful to indicate.
6 Keep a check around using the mirrors
Mirrors in your vehicle act as an extra set of eyes. It is critical to continually check the mirrors. Make a point of looking in all three mirrors. Examine the inside rear-view mirror whenever you wish to make a move. At regular intervals, check the wing mirrors as well. When overtaking or changing lanes, the first thing to look for is a car approaching from behind. Be wary of blind areas because mirrors cannot reflect the complete scene. Be cautious of automobiles that are outside the range of your mirrors and directly beside your vehicle. Blindspot mirrors, which are miniature fish eye mirrors that may be connected to the vehicle, can be installed.
7 Pit stops
Stopping at regular intervals is essential on long highway drives. Accidents on highways are caused by driver weariness in around 20% of cases. On a long drive, pushing yourself to make up time is the last thing you want to do. A common symptom you may experience is highway hypnosis, which is the tendency to enter a trance-like condition after persistent driving. Driving for long periods of time at a constant pace on identical routes with the cabin at a consistent temperature causes the aforementioned situation. Maintain hydration while concurrently toggling between’recirculating’ and ‘fresh-air’ modes on the air conditioner. A temperature change helps you stay more alert. If you are too sleepy to get to the
8 Rains/Wet roads
Driving in damp weather increases the risk factor even further. Many vehicles on the road are improperly maintained and leak lubricants and fluids. This is a deadly combination when combined with precipitation, and if you’re not careful, there might be terrible consequences. Limit your speed and, if possible, avoid wet spots and puddles. Driving at high speeds through pools of water should be avoided at all costs since it can cause hydroplaning, in which the tires lose grip and traction and the car spins out of control. Also, avoid braking too hard because wet roads make it harder for tires to gain grip, which might result in the vehicle slipping off the road or colliding with another vehicle. During severe downpours,
9 Night driving
Traveling at night should be avoided wherever feasible. However, if you must drive at night, sufficient sight is critical. Keep your windshield clean and all of your lights turned on. Aim the headlights according to your seating position, but don’t set them too high, as this may bother motorists ahead. Similarly, avoid using the high beam when passing or when you are near the vehicle ahead of you. Stay alert because most truck and bus drivers are weary from driving all day and may react slower than usual.
In the sad event that your vehicle has broken down, it is critical to remain calm and follow these measures. Slow down carefully and begin to go to the highway’s shoulder. Stop slowly, keeping the car well below the shoulder lines, and turn on your hazard lights. To alert other drivers, place the hazard triangle around ten to fifteen feet behind the car. Examine the damage and, if necessary, get assistance. Also, make a list of highway aid contacts and seek emergency call boxes; they are located at regular intervals along the highway. Turn on the interior lights at night to make the car as apparent as possible. Always attempt to remain in the vehicle until assistance arrives.