A Quick Highway Driving Guide for Newbies

Warm wishes to you if you have recently received your driving permit. Now you are in the club of 227 million drivers in the United States!

Getting a permit becomes a source of freedom and adulthood, but it also requires maturity and responsibility. The most critical aspect of driving is when you are driving recklessly; it not only affects you but also everyone else on the road.

Driving on the highway is different as compared to city streets and requires more focus and attention. Necessary safety precautions and measures remain the same, but rules of the highway are different, hence needs more attention. So when you intend to travel on the highway, you need to be more cautious and check your car thoroughly. There are basics a new driver should know about their car before starting a happy and safe journey on the highway.

Here are a few quick tips for newbies who want to drive on the highway.

Drive at Constant Speeds

Newbies should not drive a vehicle on a highway at variable speed. If there is room to maintain a constant speed, you must continue it as long as you can. Maintaining a constant rate of speed allows you to drive with the flow of traffic, which is always the safest way to travel.

Variable speed can be as risky as speeding, but the safest speed is not always the slowest speed. It means you must check your surroundings and maintain traffic flow without much variance. On the other side, it helps to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, saving your hard-earned money during next refuel.

Learn to Merge

For a beginner, learning to merge on the highway is an essential skill. A driver must master this art as it can lead to severe accidents. You must build up the speed to meet that of the traffic already on the highway to fit in a safe gap between vehicles.

Take care of the opposite aspect also by adjusting your speed and providing a safe gap when another driver wants to merge onto the highway.

Stay focused and attentive in the correct lane as you enter the highway allowing someone else to merge in front of you.

Slow Traffic Keep Right

You will see “slow traffic keep right” signboards on many highways indicating drivers that are slow need to remain in the right hand lane. As a matter of fact, your driving on the highway mantra should be “Drive Right, Pass Left!” The National Motorists Association gives four great reasons why to drive right and pass left or model Lane Courtesy. Lane Courtesy laws sometimes called “Slow Poke” laws, are enforced in most states, and every driver should make this a habit anytime driving out on the road.

Also, remember that sometimes drivers in the right hand lane drive slower because they want to exit the highway, or are looking for services such as fuel, food, car repair, or perhaps even have a medical emergency.

Following this norm of keeping on the right can make driving safer for everyone on the highway.

Be Careful when Applying Brakes too quickly

In case of emergency, avoid braking almost immediately to avoid locking the wheels. This kind of quick action could result in losing control over the vehicle. When you apply sharp brakes, your car could skid.

In a skid scenario, remember to remove your foot from the brake pedal and turn the steering wheel towards the opposite direction of the skid. If the vehicle skids to the left side, you have to turn the steering wheel to the right to balance out the control.

Look but Do Not Stare or Stop

According to a survey by EHS Safety News America, out of 65,000 people killed in car accidents in the last two years, one in ten were crashes with at least one of the drivers distracted. Indeed, distracted driving is a sensitive issue and needs everyone’s serious attention.

Also, if you see any incident or something that distracts you or needs your immediate attention, do not stare or stop in the middle of the road to know the details. You must pass by and stop at a safer place, or you might get involved in a crash yourself.

Even though each state has set its own traffic rules, most of the rules are nearly the same throughout the country. Such as always driving on the right-side traffic rule, except the US Virgin Islands, which requires driving on the left-side such as in the UK.

Become a safe driver by practicing and following traffic rules of the highway. You’ll be glad you did!

If you have further thoughts on how to be safe on the highway, share them below in the comments section.

Amanda Jerelyn is currently working as an Associate Editor at King Essay. She holds a Master degree in Mass Communication. She also provides UK research proposal writing service regarding daily life issues for renowned websites. Amanda is married and has three kids. She likes to discover new tourist destinations and traveling by road.

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2 Responses to “A Quick Highway Driving Guide for Newbies”

  1. Mikhael says:

    Rule #1 – Be aware of your surroundings. You should constantly be scanning the road and looking as far ahead as possible. Distance = time, you have more time to react to a hazard you see at a greater distance away. You can’t react to something you don’t see, and you should be aware of everything in your visual field. Don’t make the mistake of solely focusing on the car in front you or on a fixed spot on the road directly in front of you. Adjust your mirrors correctly, you don’t need three mirrors to observe what’s directly behind you, the left and right mirrors should be adjusted so you can observe behind and to the left and behind and to the right. If you can see the side of your car in the mirror, it’s not adjusted correctly. If it’s adjusted correctly, vehicles passing you should enter your peripheral vision just as they are no longer visible in the mirror.

    On pass left, keep right, I think it’s very important to emphasize that speed is completely irrelevant. There is no speed where it is okay to stay in the left lane when you are not actively passing a specific vehicle or line of vehicles, whether or not someone is behind you waiting for you to move over. It is also not your place to enforce speed limits or purposely obstruct faster drivers, and you make the highway more hazardous for everyone if you attempt this behavior. Ask any law enforcement officer if they want the help of speed enforcement vigilantes and they will assuredly tell you absolutely not. If you see a dangerous or aggressive driver, let them pass, keep your distance, and call the police if you believe they are an immediate threat to public safety.

    Your advice about “locking wheels” is pretty obsolete, almost every car on the road now has anti-lock brakes. While you should avoid unnecessary or excessive braking, it’s definitely better to err on the side of caution braking hard and early for a legitimate hazard. Keep a firm grip on the wheel with both hands, as under hard braking the car may want to change direction without steering input. Some crashes are caused by drivers braking too little too late. This is why many new cars have automatic emergency braking, not just to address situations where a driver fails to react at all, but the surprisingly common situation where the car was physically capable of stopping in time but the driver failed to press the brake hard enough.

  2. Jim says:

    Use a turn signal for EVERY turn and lane change, even if you think there’s nobody in sight.