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10 Strategies for Highway Driving

Expand your skill set for safer travel

The high speeds of controlled-access highways and the density of traffic on them require a special set of driving strategies.  

See also: Scanning — a Smart Driving Technique

  1. Merging: If you accelerate quickly to a proper merge speed, you can safely enter the flow of traffic.
  2. Others merging: Change lanes or adjust your speed to allow others to enter the highway safely.
  3. Blind spots: Stay out of other drivers’ blind spots.
  4. Passing: Use the right lane for entering and exiting the traffic flow. The left lane on highways is for passing. Do not frustrate other drivers behind you by staying in the left lane if you are not passing.
  5. Lane changes: Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Check your blind spots by looking over your shoulder before changing lanes. Always use turn signals.
  6. Blending with traffic: Blend your speed with the traffic as much as possible without exceeding the speed limit. If you are uncomfortable driving at higher speeds, find an alternate route.
  7. Stopped vehicles: Give pedestrians and stopped vehicles, including police and emergency vehicles, a wide berth for their safety, moving over a lane when possible.
  8. Backing up: It is illegal to back up on a highway and you may not cross a median. If you miss an exit or need to go back for some reason, do not back up. Proceed to the next exit and then double back.
  9. Emergencies: Do not stop on a highway unless you have an emergency. Pull over as far as you can to the shoulder and be sure to turn on your emergency flashers.
  10. Emergency vehicles: Move to the right as far as possible to let an approaching emergency vehicle pass you on the left. Do not come to a complete stop as you would on other roads.

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