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Tips for how to drive on the interstate or highway

Here are some helpful tips for how to safely navigate both interstate and highway driving. This includes day and night trip tips, plus defensive driving measures, and more.

Man inside car while driving on the interstate.

How many times have you started a long drive on the highway or interstate without first considering your physical and/or mental condition? Assessing how you actually feel is an important first step for any long road trip. Are you tired, sluggish or feeling under the weather? If so, maybe it’s best to delay the trip.

The risks of driving while your energy tank is running on empty are very real.

Things to avoid while driving on the interstate:

  • Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on our highways and interstates. People assume if you’re on long stretches of road ahead, or driving in a fairly straight line, that it’s ok to look away for a moment or two.  It’s not. Too many highway and interstate driving accident victims have repeated the same sentence afterwards: "I only took my eyes off the road for a brief moment... ." It’s always best to keep your eyes glued to the road ahead, and save those distractions for later.
  • Bad weather is another risk of highway and interstate driving. Many set out before first checking the weather forecast. This can be a major mistake. How many times have you seen those short, harrowing videos from inside cars on the highway or Interstate? The ones where the road ahead is either densely fogged, flooded, in a white-out, or worse? Always plan ahead by checking the forecast for the duration of your scheduled journey.
  • We’ve all come across that aggressive driver who appears out of nowhere and decides to ride our vehicle’s backside. Not cool, right? Or when we’re in the passing lane, the same Type A driver decides to pass us on the right side, which is one of the more dangerous moves anyone can make. Keep your distance while driving on highways and interstates. Also, watch for semi-trucks and emergency vehicles. If any vehicle is on the shoulder, check your surroundings and if possible, always move a lane away from the shouldered vehicle.
  • And then there’s the challenge of merging onto and off of the highway. Some people go way too fast, while others are far too slow. Both are equally dangerous!
  • Traveling at a high speed for a prolonged period can cause you to misjudge your true speed when the speed limit is reduced, especially a highway exit ramp. This condition, called Highway Velocitization, can be dangerous. At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves on exit ramps, thinking "Oh, goodness — I’m going too fast!" Don’t become a victim to it and possibly cause harm to yourself or others. Here are some other safe driving articles.
  • Nodding off while driving on the highway or Interstate is a major contributor to most higher speed accidents. If you find yourself feeling drowsy, pull over at the nearest exit or rest area and recharge. Turning the music up or rolling the windows down isn’t going to cut it. You need to get out of the car, get a snack or some water, walk around and stretch a bit, then reassess before getting back on the road.

Before you head out on that next road trip, make sure to review your auto insurance and check into discounts like the Drive Safe & Save™ program through State Farm®.

The information in this material was obtained from various sources. We believe it to be reliable and accurate; however, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information contained herein.


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