Hopping behind the wheel for a cross-country trek is very different from driving to a local restaurant or making your weekly commute. Long-distance driving requires forethought and preparation to combat its unique dangers. For those eager to learn more, read these safety tips for driving long distances.
Get Your Defensive Driving Down
One fact about long-distance driving is, the longer you’re on the road, the more likely you’ll experience a compromised driving situation. Whether it involves a roadway obstacle that requires sudden stopping, navigating around an erratic driver, or something else, long drives are unpredictable.
Equip yourself with defensive driving skills to address these unknowns safely and calmly. Maintain a safe following distance—never follow too closely. Always keep space in one direction—left or right, preferably—into which you can move to evade another driver. Getting stuck in one place limits your options and puts you at the whim of other drivers, who can sometimes be careless.
There are so many elements of defensive driving to learn. Arizonans, consider brushing up your skills with a dedicated defensive driving school in Glendale, AZ, meant for any experience level.
Don’t Go It Alone
Next, don’t drive alone, even if you can’t have passengers with you. Now, if you can have passengers with you, that’s the safest option. A friend in the passenger seat serves as a valuable second set of eyes, there to help you navigate a complicated situation appropriately. Beyond this, while others in the car can distract, they also help fight a formidable enemy to safe driving—drowsiness. Having someone to talk to stops you from dozing off, and when you do start to doze, you can pull over and have them drive instead.
If you are traveling alone, there are other ways to stay safe. Giving someone your intended destination—perhaps even sharing your location through your phone—helps them know where you should be. Also, recruit your favorite music or an interesting podcast to maintain your attention. This is a quality simulation of having a passenger next to you.
Obey Freeway Etiquette
Also, because long drives typically mean long stretches on the freeway or expressway, obeying traditional freeway etiquette is another long-distance driving tip. If you drive slower, stay in the right-most lane, reserving the middle lanes for moderate speed and the left-most lane for passing purposes only. Also, always use turn signals to indicate a lane change. When other drivers inevitably need to merge, allow them space to do so, rather than blocking them. Following these etiquette tips isn’t just polite; they keep you and your passengers out of harm’s way by preemptively limiting risk factors.