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Safe Highway Driving

Tips for Being a Safe and Confident Driver on Highways

If you ask young or new drivers what makes them the most nervous about driving, many of them probably reply with one simple word – “highways” (or if they saw the movie Clueless: “freeways”). The idea of driving on a highway can be a scary thing, especially with other drivers traveling these types of roads, larger vehicles such as tractor trailers, and even the sheer size of some highways. For drivers who are nervous about highway driving, here are some tips to help keep you safe and make you more confident.

Be Aware of Blind Spots

Every vehicle has blind spots or those spots where drivers are unable to see people or other cars while in the driver’s seat and using only rearview and side view mirrors. A big part of learning how to drive safely on highways is knowing where the vehicle’s blind spots are and being able to deal with them in order to navigate the road safely. While it may seem impossible to compensate for blind spots, doing a quick “head check” by turning to see past the blind spot is an easy way to overcome them.

Drive on the Right, Pass on the Left

A simple highway driving rule that many drivers forget or even ignore is “driving on the right, passing on the left.” The left lane, commonly referred to as the “fast lane,” is the lane that should be used for passing only to help with the flow of traffic and—in some states, remaining in the left lane unnecessarily is actually illegal. When using the left lane to pass, it is important to make sure it is being done quickly and safely, making sure to use blinkers to indicate you are changing lanes and checking blind spots.

Know How to Merge

Merging is something not every driver does well and is one of the most frightening parts of driving on a highway. The key to being able to merge is to make sure that, when traveling on the on ramp of a highway, you are accelerating up to the speed of highway traffic. Luckily, most on ramps have a long “runway” to give drivers enough time to speed up and merge into the next lane. For those ramps that have shorter runways, just make sure to use your blinker and check your blind spots when merging.

Think you or someone you know is need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is a Ventnor driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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