Points To Keep In Mind While Driving On Highways with High-Speed Limits
Published On 09-Jan-2023
Peace of mind and concentration are the two key things while driving on the highways. To make it safer and more enjoyable, keep the below tips in mind
- Highway driving is adventurous yet a risky proposition as the road conditions, especially in India, are unpredictable.
- A pre-driving inspection is a must to avoid being stranded in the middle of the road.
- Speed manners must be followed to avoid mishaps.
- Keeping enough distance from the vehicle ahead can keep you on the safe side of the journey.
- Lane manners are a must, especially while overtaking.
- Driving at night must be avoided as much as possible, as heavy-vehicle drivers are often slow to react.
- Rainy season driving on the highways comes with additional precautions
- Check on your mirrors at regular intervals to remain alert to the surroundings.
We all love to go for a getaway or a long adventurous trip to a distant place. Be it going with our families or friends, we all love to drive on highways with tranquillity. But while the idea behind long-distance driving is soothing, there are some crucial tips we all must keep in mind to make the journey safe and fun, as road conditions in India are unpredictable.
As there is no serious enforcement of traffic on highways, here are a few guidelines you must follow before you embark on your journey.
Long-distance driving is not an easy task, especially when there is a family with you. So, a pre-drive inspection before going on board is extremely necessary. You must ascertain the correct tyre pressure, as, without proper inflation, driving at high speeds can be dangerous. Moreover, keep a fully functional spare wheel, in case of a puncture. Make sure you keep your important documents handy such as your pollution certificate, insurance policy, driving license and registration certificate.
Crucial add-ons such as portable chargers and repair tools will help you out if you get stuck in the middle of the road.
Stick to speed limits
When it comes to driving on the highways, the speed department is often neglected as it feels pleasant to drive on wide roads without much traffic. It is always a practical approach to evaluate road conditions in advance and cruise accordingly. And irrespective of the flat roads, maintaining adequate speeds is a must.
So, drive under prescribed limits, and whenever the speed limit signs come across, we must stick to it irrespective of the adrenaline bouts the highway gives us to reach our destination quickly.
Keep sufficient distance from the vehicle ahead
Unpredictability is often a major reason behind mishaps, and aggressive or instantaneous braking can be one of them. If we keep ample distance from the vehicle in front of us, we will have sufficient time to avoid a collision if the vehicle ahead slams the brakes abruptly. Maintaining a minimum 3-second distance is the ideal way of avoiding collision with the vehicle in front of you.
In night, rainy or foggy conditions, a minimum 5-second gap between two running vehicles is a perfect way of avoiding accidents.
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Choosing the right lane
Switching between lanes is one of the most significant driving manoeuvres on high-speed driving on highways. You must stick to your lane, and avoid zig-zagging your vehicle, as against your usual tactics in cities. One of the common mistakes is driving in the wrong lane. And the most misused lane is the right-most or the fast lane, which is meant for overtaking.
A car moving at a slow pace can be lethal in that fast lane. So, to change your lane, you need to first give an appropriate signal and keep an eagle’s eye on the difference in speed. Once you are sure of a safe gap, you can attempt a move.
Pay utmost attention to overtaking
Precise timing and judgement are the two primary prerequisites for perfectly overtaking the vehicle ahead. The job becomes more challenging where roads are without dividers. While overtaking, there are certain things you must keep in mind, as all this happens pretty quickly.
Firstly, you should find a straight line as an overtaking point, so that the oncoming traffic is visible. Now switch to the intended overtaking lane with your indicator turned on, shift to a lower gear and push the accelerator a bit.
You must be extra cautious on single carriageways as you have to deal with multiple traffic simultaneously. Once you are sure of safely manoeuvring, go ahead.
Constant check on mirrors
While driving on highways, make a habit of constantly checking all the mirrors at frequent intervals, especially when you are switching lanes at high speeds. Moreover, checking mirrors at regular intervals also makes you aware of blind spots. Blind spot mirrors can be installed as an additional safety accessory, offering a wide view of the approaching vehicle and helping decrease the chances of blind spots.
Driving in rainy or damp conditions
Driving in a rainy season is relatively bit difficult, and at high speeds on highways, the job becomes more challenging. You may encounter puddles and wet patches on the way, and if you don’t restrict your speed over the pools of water, it may result in aquaplaning, leading to loss of traction and causing the car to get out of control.
Moreover, hard braking in damp conditions can also lead to skidding or your vehicle ramming into another due to a lack of grip. Last but not the least, headlights should be kept on even during the daytime, as it would help other motorists have a clear view of your vehicle.
Take precautions at night driving
Consider night driving on highways like a plague or outbreak; avoid it as much as you can. Truckers and heavy vehicle drivers can get rowdy and dozy due to long hours of driving, and might be slow to react. Moreover, most drivers put up high beams at night, blinding the oncoming vehicles, and eventually making the situation risky.
If there is a dire need to drive at night, you should take the slow lane and be patient while making overtaking attempts. Always keep your windscreen clean for the best possible visibility.
Highway driving comes with a holiday spirit. To make it enjoyable, remember all the above-mentioned driving tips, as things can turn dangerous in the blink of an eye. If you are not confident about driving at high speeds, enjoy the ride at a slow pace and reach your destination with peace.
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