Ah! The pleasure of the clear highway is a pleasant sensation. However, if you are just starting to drive, you may feel nervous about getting behind the wheel. Do not worry. While it's true that accidents can happen to anyone, there are steps you can take to drive safely and do your best to avoid them.
Method 1 of 14: Wear Your Seat Belt
Step 1. Buckle up for safety
The seat belt is an essential part of safe driving. Before you start driving, buckle up and make sure everyone else in the car does too. If you have children in the car, make sure that their seat belt is well secured.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017
Method 2 of 14: Comply with the speed limit
Step 1. It's not just about complying with the law, it's for your safety
Higher speeds make it harder for you to control the vehicle and react if you have to avoid an accident. Speed limits are designed to help keep you safe on the highway. Be alert to signs and make sure you adhere to the speed limit.
Method 3 of 14: Stay Alert and Keep Your Eyes on the Freeway
Step 1. All you need to do to cause an accident is 3 seconds of distraction
Inattentive and distracted drivers are the leading cause of car accidents. About 80% of crashes occur within 3 seconds of distraction. Stay focused on the highway at all times so that you can react and avoid potential accidents. If you are sleepy or tired, park for a cup of coffee or rest until you feel awake enough to drive.
Method 4 of 14: Use the 3-4 Second Rule to Maintain a Safe Distance
Step 1. Keep 3-4 seconds of distance between the vehicle ahead and yours
You are more likely to crash right in front of you. Pick a stationary object like a traffic sign, wait for the vehicle in front of you to pass it, and then count how long it takes you to pass it. Use this rule to help you maintain a sufficient distance so that you can stop safely and avoid accidents.
Increase the distance you follow the other car for one more second in conditions like rain and fog, as well as when you're driving at night or behind a large truck
Method 5 of 14: Stay Alert for Other Drivers
Step 1. Don't trust other drivers to drive perfectly or be considerate
Be considerate of other drivers, but always keep an eye out for them. Don't assume they can see you or will move to let you pass or change lanes. If you assume that other drivers will make mistakes, you will be more prepared to act when they do.
Method 6 of 14: keep an eye out for motorcycles and bicycles
Step 1. Pay extra attention to them when they are around your car
Use your turn signals to alert them if you are going to turn or slow down. Add an extra second of following distance to motorcycles too. This will give you more time to slow down if you have to stop suddenly.
Method 7 of 14: Use your turn signals to turn or change lanes
Step 1. Notify the other drivers
Turn signals tell other vehicles around you that you plan to change lanes or turn. This will give them a chance to prepare to slow down or allow you to merge into the lane. Be courteous, act safe, and always use your turn signals before merging into another lane or slowing down to turn.
In some places, you could be fined if you don't use your turn signals
Method 8 of 14: Increase Speed to Merge into a Lane
Step 1. Identify a clear space between the cars and do not slow down
Turn on your turn signals and increase your speed until you reach empty space. Use the mirrors and turn your head to make sure the space is empty. Then get your car into the lane and keep your speed.
Method 9 of 14: Use the Left Lane to Pass
Step 1. Change lanes and speed up to pass slower vehicles
Turn on your turn signals, wait for an opening so the lane is empty, and move into the left lane. Increase your speed and pass the other vehicle, turn on your turn signals, wait for an opening, and merge into the right lane again. Use the left lane only to pass.
Method 10 of 14: Check Your Mirrors and Blind Spots
Step 1. Keep an eye out for things that you might miss
All cars have a blind spot where their mirrors cannot see. Check behind you before changing lanes or backing up so you don't accidentally hit anything.
Method 11 of 14: Determine if you have to achieve something
Step 1. Don't try to reach for something behind you
In addition to using the phone, reaching for objects is another leading cause of distracted driving. Instead of reaching for an object, park for a moment so that you can safely pick it up.
Method 12 of 14: Put your phone away
Step 1. Eliminate the temptation to review it
Phones are the number one distraction on the highway. Even checking your phone for a moment could make you look away from the highway long enough to cause an accident. Put the phone in your bag or center console while you are driving so that you do not use it. You can also set it to "Do Not Disturb" mode so you don't hear any alerts while you're driving.
Park or wait until you reach your destination to check the phone. It can wait
Method 13 of 14: Never drink and drive
Step 1. Have a designated driver or call a taxi to get home safely
Drunk drivers can cause life-threatening accidents. If you've been drinking, play it safe and have someone else drive. If you don't have someone who can drive you, call a cab or use a carpool app like Uber or Lyft.
If you are handicapped or under the influence of drugs, you will not be able to drive. Stay off the highway and, if possible, ask someone else to drive
Method 14 of 14: Have the car in good condition
Step 1. Preventive maintenance can keep your car operating safely
Check the pressure as well as the tread of the tires. Make sure the car's fluids are full and the battery is working. Review your owner's manual and follow the maintenance schedule listed there to keep your car performing safely and properly.
- If you get lost and have to find a way to get somewhere, park so you can do it safely.
- If someone is next to you, ask them to take care of the music and the directions you need to follow so that you can focus on the highway.