For some people, getting on the highways can be anxiety inducing. Whether in stop-and-go traffic during rush hour or other times when traffic is flowing at higher speeds, some people just dislike driving on highways. This is understandable.
To help you avoid the worst types of accidents on Philadelphia highways, here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe. Although you can do everything right as a driver, you still cannot prevent every accident. Working with a skilled lawyer can help you navigate the legal and financial hurdles you may face after someone else injures you in a car accident.
Staying Safe on Highways
There are countless ways that you can stay safe while driving on Philadelphia highways. Above all, your actions can help to keep you, your passengers, and other drivers safe while on the road.
- Drive defensively. Even if you encounter aggressive drivers, remain calm and drive defensively. It is the best way to keep you and your passengers safe. Driving at highway speeds also means that you need to react faster to changing conditions. By driving defensively, you may be able to anticipate other driver’s moves and react accordingly.
- Watch your speed. Although highway driving is usually faster, traveling too fast or too slow can be dangerous. Your goal should not be to get to your destination as quickly as possible, but rather to get there as safely as possible. Staying within the posted speed limit and keeping up with traffic are two of the most effective ways to stay safe on highways.
- Slow down in construction zones. Generally, construction zones will have their own posted speed limits; however, even if they do not, it is a good idea to slow down. Sometimes in construction zones, the lanes get narrower and trucks can enter the highway quickly and without much notice. Going at a slower speed gives you more time to react if an object gets in your way. Also, it helps to keep construction workers safe.
- Slow down or move over for emergency vehicles. Whether a police officer has pulled someone over or an emergency vehicle is tending to an accident or car with a flat tire, giving police and other responders space to do their work is crucial to keeping them and you safe. If someone gets out of a car, you do not have to react quickly, as you have already given them plenty of space to avoid your vehicle.
- Keep your distance. Tailgating can be a nuisance when it happens to you. Therefore, do not do the same to someone else. It may frustrate the other driver and could lead to road rage. Keeping your distance also means that if a driver in front of you stops suddenly, you have plenty of room and time to slow down without rear-ending them.
- Stay out of the passing lane. The left lane on highways is meant for passing. If you are not passing some other vehicle, stay to the right. If another car is speeding, it is not your job to slow them down. That can often lead to road rage, which can be extremely dangerous for everyone. By keeping to the right lane, you let faster traffic pass and do not have to worry about another driver coming up quickly on your rear.
- Do not drive drowsy. Make sure you get a good night’s rest before driving on highways. You need to stay alert and if you do not sleep well, that can have a similar effect to driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Do not drive impaired. Although it is against the law, some people think they are fine to drive after having a few drinks. Unfortunately, this can have tragic consequences. Driving drunk puts everyone at risk, including yourself, so just do not do it. Also remember that drugs, even prescription and over-the-counter medications, can impair someone’s ability to drive safely.
- Do not text and drive. Texting while driving is against the law but, just like driving drunk, some drivers still engage in this dangerous behavior. But even texting while at a stoplight can take your focus away from the serious task of driving your car. Your best chance to stay safe on the highway is to make sure your phone is not a distraction to you, so put it away.
- Use your signals. Your turn signals are there for a reason: to signal your intentions to other drivers. If you plan to turn but do not use your turn signal, another driver may not realize your intentions and could end up slamming into the back of your car. Just like you do not like it when other drivers fail to signal their intentions, you can avoid frustrating other drivers and stay safe by making sure that you use your signals every time.
- Choose your route in advance. Knowing where you are going is key to being safe on the road. If you must constantly look at a map or, worse, look at the map on your phone, you are going to be distracted. Make sure you have an idea of where you are going so you can stay focused on driving.
- Have an alternate route in mind. Knowing your route is important, but so is having a backup route in case your route has delays. Sometimes, your original route will be blocked by an accident or unknown construction. When you have an alternate route in mind, you can simply detour without increasing your stress or anxiety.
- Have patience. Whether your original route is blocked or your alternate route is no better, patience is key. If you are behind a slow driver, do not get angry; just have patience. When you let other drivers’ actions frustrate you, it can result in road rage or at least you becoming more rash and making risky decisions.
- Choose your driving times. If you can avoid it, do not drive during rush hour. By choosing your driving times, you can try to avoid the worst traffic conditions and be on the highway with fewer vehicles. This combination could result in a reduced likelihood of getting into an accident.
- Realize you cannot control other drivers. Finally, realize that other drivers may not follow these tips like you will. That does not mean you should change your driving habits. On the contrary, you are driving as you should, even if the other driver is not. Let these motorists go by, and let them be on their way. The more you engage with those types of drivers, the more dangerous the situation can become.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Advocate for Victims
Although there are steps you can take to help keep you and your passengers safe on Philadelphia highways, you cannot control how other people drive and you could still end up in an accident, even when you do everything right. When that happens, you may need legal guidance. To help you understand your rights and legal options, reach out to the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. We will be your advocate to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-569-4888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.