10 Tips For Safer Highway Driving

Highway driving is no joke. No one wants to admit to it, but we’ve all texted, talked on the phone, changed the song, put directions into the GPS, or eaten while on the road. The truth is, it doesn’t take much for your attention to be diverted when driving. Here are ten tips to help keep you safe while driving on the highway.

Buckle Up

This may seem obvious, but buckling your seatbelt is essential. You must wear it properly and at all times when driving. According to Transport Canada, 29.4% of drivers and 32.1% of passengers were victims of fatalities because they were not using seatbelts (2018). Before you turn the car on, make sure to put your seatbelt on and remind others too as well so you all can be safe on the highway.

Learn more about seat belt fines and tips.

Stay In The Right Lane

Stay in the right lane unless you want to pass the car in front of you. If you drive in the left lane, other drivers behind you may need to get by and try to pass you by using the right lane. This is dangerous.

Don’t Use Your Phone

It can be tempting to reach for your phone when you hear that “bing,” but it’s not safe to text and drive on the highway. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 90 km/hr, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” so you remain focused while driving on the highway. Your text messages will be waiting for you once you’ve arrived at your destination safely.

Drive Defensively

Anticipate others will make mistakes and be prepared for them. For example, other drivers may not signal to let you know they want to change lanes. Be on the lookout by cutting out distractions to develop safer driving habits.

Using The Ramps

When merging onto the highway, speed up to match the speed of the highway and signal. This will prevent others from having to put on their brakes or change lanes when you merge. When exiting the highway, signal and slow down as you enter the exit ramp.

Give Yourself Space

You don’t know what the driver in front of you is going to do, so don’t tailgate. If the driver in front of you hits the brakes and there isn’t enough distance between you both, you may end up rear-ending them. Since you’re driving at a faster speed on the highway, give yourself some extra room in case you need to brake. As a good rule of thumb, experts recommend using a three-second gap. 

Watch Your Speed

Always be mindful of your speed when driving on the highway. According to Transport Canada’s Road Safety in Canada Report, 27% of fatalities and 19% of serious injuries involve speeding. As tempting as it may be to speed, research shows that a 1% reduction in speed results in reducing the likelihood of a fatal collision by 5%. Always abide by the speed limit.

Let It Go

Road rage is real! While it can be difficult to overlook someone else’s mistakes while driving on the highway, it’s necessary to avoid frustration and driving aggressively. Take a deep breath and let it go.

Watch Out For Large Motor Vehicles

Be considerate of those driving larger motor vehicles. It can be difficult for these drivers to see you or your vehicle due to their raised driver’s seat position. As a good rule of thumb, if you can’t see the driver through their mirror, they can’t see you. Large motor vehicles can’t stop as quickly, so stay out of their blind spots, leaving plenty of room, and signal when merging in front of them.

Don’t Drive Under The Influence

Never drive intoxicated and don’t get into a vehicle if the driver is intoxicated. According to MADD, road crashes claimed an estimated 2,297 lives. Based on testing of fatally injured drivers, it may be estimated that 1,273 (55.4%) of these deaths resulted from crashes in which an individual was positive from alcohol and/or drugs. When you’re under the influence, your reaction time, coordination, and judgment can cause even the best drivers to make poor decisions.

Make safety a priority when driving on the highway. Crashes are preventable. Do your part to make the highways safe for everyone.