How to Overcome your Fears of Driving on the Highway
Many beginning drivers try to avoid the highway, fearing they will likely get in an accident. Driving at high speeds can be intimidating because you may have never done it before. However, driving on highways is mostly a fear of the unknown. When you were a child, you may have intensely feared clowns, but once you became familiar with clowns, you grew to love them. The same applies to highways. If you keep the following safe practices in mind, the highway will become a breeze.
Plan your drive
Choose a slower time of day, such as the evening or weekend, to start driving on the highway. Also, it is generally best to start on a day when the sky is clear of rain, fog, or snow so you have good visibility. Listening to the traffic updates and mapping out your drive can also make a great difference. If it helps, bring a friend who can help you to navigate so you can focus solely on driving. This can also help to lessen your anxiety.
Maintain your Speed while Merging on the Highway
When you merge, do not slow down. It may feel uncomfortable to speed up, but it is much safer. Activate your turn signal and look for a gap in traffic. Pay attention to the cars ahead of you and behind you so that you can adjust if a car breaks quickly. Once you find the gap, move into it and keep accelerating up to the speed of the cars on the highway. Then, deactivate your turn signal.
Practice Changing Lanes
Keep a safe distance between cars and maintain a steady speed. When you are ready to change lanes, always check the rear-view mirrors, side-view mirrors, and blind spot before moving over. Also, try to stay in the right lane which is intended for slower cars. If you drive slow in the left lane, you will end up blocking traffic. So be kind and stay right.
Use Your Blinkers on the Highway
It is equally as important to use your blinkers on the freeway as on regular roads. You can’t assume another driver will know your intentions. Instead of taking chances, use your blinker to alert nearby cars of your next move.
Stay Observant and Aware
It is natural for new drivers to just stare ahead. However, traffic changes very suddenly and unpredictably. Constantly glance behind you and in the distance. Also, try to avoid talking to friends or even changing the radio when first starting highway driving. Minimizing distractions will help you prevent an accident.
Keep a Reasonable Distance
Traffic on the highway often starts and stops suddenly. Rear end collisions are common on highways because of this feature. When possible, try to keep a few car lengths distance between other cars.
Enjoy the Drive!
Driving on the highway saves so much time and allows you to explore more of your town. Developing safe practices and becoming familiar with the highway will help you to enjoy your time on the road.