I live in the state of New Jersey so anybody who has been on any of our major interstates knows that they make the Indy 500 look like a Sunday cruise! I was a professional driver who was on these highways everyday and I have seen some really bad accidents. I would like to remind everybody of some safe driving tips so everybody gets to their destination and not in the emergency room.
The first thing that really needs to be addressed is respect the size of a tractor trailer or any commercial vehicle. Too many times have I seen somebody switching 3 lanes and almost taking off the bumper of a tractor trailer! Let’s think about this who would win if your car and a tractor trailer collided? There is a weight comparison of 80,000 lbs vs a max of 3500 lbs. Next time you decide you want to cut off that truck think about what that truck would do to you and your car. Also lets not forget that all vehicles have blind spots, even cars. I have seen cars collide as somebody glanced in their mirror and saw nobody but they did not notice somebody was right next to them just out of the mirrors. If you are next to a truck and you can’t see the driver in the mirror move. The mirrors on these vehicles are great however not perfect. If you can’t see them, chances are they can’t see you. Not all truckers are great drivers either. If a truck is riding your tail, change lanes-DO NOT hit your brakes unless you have to!
Highway driving can put you into a blank stare. You should constently be moving your eyes a little (of course I’m not telling you to take your eyes off the road.) Check your mirrors to move your eyes a little. First of all that will keep you informed of any traffic that is around you but it will also keep you from getting tunnel vision. Tunnel vision is common when you drive down the road staring straight ahead. This is dangerous as you then lose your peripheral vision with tunnel vision. It will also make you tired a lot quicker.
You should also leave about 4-5 seconds between you and the car in front of you on the highway. I mean real seconds 1 mississippi 2 mississippi. Not 1 2 3 4 5 as fast as you can count. Watch the car in front of you when they pass an object start counting until you pass the same object. You should also keep your eyes out for what is happening as far ahead as you can see. This is all part of your moving your eyes to keep the brain awake. You will also be prepared for any construction or obstacles that may be up ahead. We all know the cars in front of you will probably lock up their brakes when they get too close and you will already be prepared therefore the cars behind you are now prepared too.
Another very important tip is to always leave yourself an out. Make sure that if needed you have a space to the left or the right in case you need to get out of the way of anything or another car!
One last tip, please do not ride in the fast lane at 65 mph or less! I know people should be doing the speed limit but the truth is people don’t and they get real frustrated at the car in the fast lane doing the speed limit. It is just dangerous as people begin to ride your tail and swerve around you doing the New Jersey improper lane changing and cutting you and other cars off.
Remember summer is here a lot of people will be on the roads please drive safely!!