The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported 1,179 fatal traffic accidents in 2022. Most of these occurred on interstates, highways and the turnpike.
Navigating multi-lane highways can be a daunting task, especially during heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions. However, with the right knowledge and mindset, you can ensure a safer journey for yourself and fellow drivers.
Maintain a safe following distance
You can reduce many risks by maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. The recommended distance is at least a three-second gap under normal conditions. Increase this gap during adverse weather or when roads are slippery.
Use your turn signals
Always use your turn signals to indicate your intentions when changing lanes or exiting the highway. This helps other drivers anticipate your moves and reduces the risk of collisions.
Stay in your lane
Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Choose a lane that suits your speed and maintain a consistent speed within that lane. Also, before changing lanes, make sure to check your blind spots by turning your head and using your mirrors. Blind spots are areas not visible in your mirrors and can hide other vehicles.
Keep a safe speed
Observe posted speed limits and adjust your speed based on traffic and weather conditions. Speeding greatly reduces your ability to react to unexpected situations.
Be mindful of trucks and large vehicles
Trucks and large vehicles have longer stopping distances and limited visibility. Give them extra space and avoid cutting in front of them closely.
Watch for merge points
Be attentive to on-ramps and off-ramps where vehicles are merging onto or exiting the highway. Adjust your speed and prepare to yield or merge as necessary.
Use headlights in inclement weather
In rain, snow, fog or low-light conditions, use your headlights to increase your visibility to other drivers. This is especially important in reduced visibility situations.
Stay alert and avoid distractions
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Avoid using your phone, eating or engaging in other distractions while driving. Keep your attention on the road.
Following these tips can reduce your chances of an accident. Remember that safe driving is a responsibility that each driver shares, and it starts with making smart choices on the road.