We all love road trips and drives with our loved ones and friends, whether it be a long one or just a short drive to catch up with the sunrise or sunset. Although this sounds fun, there are some guidelines that each and everyone should follow. This not only helps in reaching the destination safely but also keeping everybody's life whether it be the occupants or people on the road. Also keeping in mind the road conditions in our nation, what can happen next is very unpredictable. It just takes some milliseconds for everything to go haywire. Hence we at MyNewCar have noted down 10 important driving trips for those long highway runs.
Following speed limits
Whenever we get on highways, many of us tend to step on the gas pedal and start speeding. In addition to this, maintaining high speeds on highways is a bit easy compared to the city roads, as they are much wider and the traffic isnt very heavy. Although it isnt advisable to to just floor your machine and drive like a maniac just because the roads are open. With highspeeds your car gets very sensitive to slight inputs from the steering wheel and the brakes, due to which many of us lose control of the vehicle. Hence on highways usually you will find signs with speed limits for ex 80 kmph and it is advisable to stick to them. In addition to this, there are other factors that also should be taken into consideration. Visibility during fog like condition and driving during the night is very low and it is advisable to keep speeds under control due to the lack of visibility. Also during rainy seasons as the roads are wet, one shouldnt be speeding as the roads are slippery and a slight hard braking could end in a disastrous accident.
Changing of lanes
Each lane on the highway varies with the speed, hence driving on the wrong lane in the wrong speed limit is very fatal. In addition to this, many of us on the highway keep on switching lanes with dangerous manivers in highspeeds. Most of the heavy vehicles stick to the left most lanes and some are even parked as they are broken down, so it's very necessary to be very careful here. The right most lane is called the speed lane and it is usually used for overtaking, driving slow in this lane could lead to fatal accidents, that is why it is necessary to know the speed limits of each lane. While switching lanes it is advisable to use necessary indicators and also to look for the proper safe gap.
Gap between vehicles
While driving on highways, keeping a distance of two cars is very safe. As the traffic can be very unpredictable, sometimes the vehicle ahead of your or behind you can just speed up or brake urgently or drastically change lanes. This wide gap helps you to get enough time to avoid any collision and also prevents you from conducting any panic reactions. during fog like conditions, rainy weather and night time it is advisable to keep even further gap.
Most of the accidents that take place on highways are due to overtaking due lack of judgment and speeding. It is illegal to overtake from the left hand side in India and for overtaking the right most lane has to be used. This lane is also known as the speeding lane. While overtaking, your speed should be right, your judgment and your timing should be right. At some point if you don't feel confident, it is advisable not to overtake. As sometime the vehicle ahead of you also starts speeding. Also while overtaking, one shouldnt immediatly switch lanes, you have to watch out for vehicles behind you in that lane and also create proper gap so that the car behind you also gets enough time to react. Always remember to use your indicators and also use the pass light and wait for side while overtaking.
Giving proper indicators while switching lanes and overtaking or taking a turn helps the vehicles ahead and behind you know where you want to head next. This prepares the vehicles around you that you will be shifting to the left or the right and this gives them appropriate time to react. This helps avoiding fatal accidents.
Adjusting the Mirror for visibility
Mirrors in cars are the extra set of eyes that help you get a clear picture of the activities happening on the road behind you. It is necessary to constantly check your mirrors for incoming traffic and also to give way for speeding vehicles. Always maintain a habit to check your mirrors every now and then in certain intervals. Whenever you want to overtake or switch lanes, check for oncoming vehicles in the rear. Sometimes there could be vehicles in your blind spot and this could be fatal hence it is advisable to fit fish eye mirrors in your wing mirrors and this gives a clear view of these blind spots.
Rest stops or put stops
Regular rest stops is a must during long highway runs, this not only gives rest to the occupants but also the vehicle. As you're cruising continuously on a highway while maintaining highspeeds, the tyres tend to heat up and it also increases the fatigue of the driver as well. It doesn't make sense pushing yourself to cover large distances during long drives. It's good to take necessary pit stops as it refreshes yourself and it helps in providing better concentration and keeping you alert while driving. In addition to this the tyres get time to cool down which helps in avoiding tyre bursts and it also helps the engine cool down providing less stress on it and increasing efficiency as well.
Wet roads and rainy conditions
During rains and wet conditions the roads tend to be more slippery and the risk factor is very high as well. Most of the vehicles and trucks running are poorly maintained, hence there are oil leaks and fluid leaks in the road that mix with the rain water to make the road conditions worse. Keep your headlights and fog lamps on while driving in rain as this helps other drivers know your position better. Also top up your wiper fluid and also maintain optimum tyre pressure. Do not over speed and overtake, avoid panic braking as the tyres won't find much grip and may lose control. In addition to this avoid going through potholes and pool of water as it may cause hydroplaning that causes the tyres to lose grip from the road.
Driving during night
One must avoid driving during night as the visibility is very low, most of the heavy truck and bus traffic are on the peak and the high beamers on the opposite side make it very tiring and difficult to drive. If it is very necessary to drive during night make sure you don't over speed and unnecessarily switch lanes and overtake. Make sure the visibility is high, clean your windshield and use your splash and wiper to get rid of the dead bugs, check all the lights are working, use upper Dipper or pass light and indicators to let other fellow drivers know you want to overtake. Avoid using high beam as it may disturb the ongoing traffic.
When your vehicle breaks down, you shouldn't panic, immediately indicate to the left and try moving slowly towards the left hand side of the vehicle. Park your vehicle to the shoulder of the highway and in such a way that is visible to the ongoing traffic. Please don't not park your vehicle near any blind turns as it may cause fatal accidents. Switch on the hazard lights, move towards the boot of the vehicle and open the haArd triangle and place it at least 10 feet from the car. During night keep the parking lights and the Interior lights on as this will help the oncoming vehicles know that a vehicle is parked. Immediately call for the highway assistance if there are any major problems that you can't rectify.
These are ten simple driving tips that we are all aware off but then we tend to neglect upon on. Following these simple driving tips will help your and others drive be safe. Always remember to wear your seat belts, indicate properly and follow all traffic rules.
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