Most freeway accidents happen because of a driver’s error in judgment. When a driver is distracted, drives too fast, or fails to anticipate another driver’s intentions, it could end up causing a collision. Newer drivers are at an increased risk due to their lack of driving experience and a tendency to hesitate to react to a hazardous situation.
The onramp to a freeway is usually long enough to give drivers enough room to bring their vehicle up to speed and merge with the flow of traffic. Drivers should estimate the freeway traffic speed and try to match pace by accelerating while avoiding any sudden braking. It’s a good safety habit to signal when changing lanes and exiting to alert other drivers to take caution. To avoid any sudden maneuvers that could disrupt traffic, drivers should look for signs that their offramp is near to give themselves plenty of time to get to the right. The offramp should be used to reduce speed to a safe level before stopping or making turns.
One way to prevent accidents on the freeway is to have plenty of distance between vehicles. To check if the space is sufficient, trailing drivers can pick a marker or landmark and watch as the vehicle in front passes it, then count the seconds until his or her car reaches the same spot. The number indicates how many seconds the trailing driver is behind that driver. As a rule, drivers need five seconds of space to react safely to an emergency. Also, drivers should keep about two car lengths of distance between their car and vehicles in adjoining lanes in case the other driver should swerve suddenly or fail to signal.
If you are involved in an accident, bring your vehicle to a stop, but avoid the center lane whenever possible. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers and reduce speed. Pull completely off the driving lane and call emergency responders for help. For safety reason, remain in your vehicle until the police arrive and be ready with your insurance information. If safe to do so, take photographs and notes to share with a car accident lawyer should you need to file a lawsuit.
The speed of freeway driving requires all drivers to respond to possible dangers in an instant. A good driver stays alert and always plans for contingencies. It’s wise to practice and prepare ahead of time to keep yourself and your passengers safe, especially when driving in unfamiliar locations or in foreign countries. By making “Safety First” the utmost priority, drivers can drive for many years or even decades without having an accident.