Driving techniques to avoid the dangers of the open road (2023)

As you prepare for your driver's license test, you will learn about all the dangers drivers face. However, once she receives her license, she will face these challenges in person and make decisions in real time.

Fortunately, there are driving tips and techniques you can learn to overcome the most common hazards.

The following glossary covers some of the most common road hazards you encounter and driving techniques you can use to keep yourself safe, even in potentially dangerous situations.

Getting ready to drive: some basic tasks

Before you head out, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Always be aware of your surroundings before getting into the car. Look for possible obstacles such as B. a bicycle on the ground behind your car. Watch out for pets, children, nearby pedestrians, and unusual traffic conditions. You want to notice oncoming traffic, which may enter your blind spot on both sides of your vehicle once you start driving.

  2. Make sure your windshield is clean and clear. Thoroughly scrape away snow and ice with a scraper (don't forget to check your side mirrors) and dust off the roof to prevent snow from falling on your windshield while driving.

  3. Adjust your seat and head restraints if necessary, then adjust the rear view and side mirrors to maximize visibility.

  4. Before starting the ignition, check that your passengers are safe, especially if you are carrying small children.

Tips for turning

Curves can be scary when you're just starting out, so keep these tricks in mind to make the experience easier.

  • Use your turn signal, even if your destination seems obvious. When exiting a highway, start signaling as soon as you are about to turn. When you change lanes on a highway, you signal your intention to other drivers.

  • Slow down as you approach the corner. This applies both when exiting a lane and when driving around a sharp curve on the freeway. Don't wait, then brake suddenly. That could be quite dangerous.

  • Use the correct turn lane before approaching an intersection. If you need to change lanes at the last minute, signal and control traffic before driving.

  • When turning right at an intersection, make sure there are no bicycles or pedestrians crossing the street. Unless you have a green arrow and you are moving with the flow of traffic, never turn without stopping first.

one hand steering

When you're driving on the highway, it can be tempting to grab a bite to eat, look at your phone, check the map (if you're an old-school driver), or make changes to your dashboard. But when you drive with one hand, especially when you're distracted, you have less control over the vehicle.

One-handed driving is only okay when changing gears or making quick adjustments on the dash. You may also have to take one hand off the wheel when looking over your shoulder to back up. The rest of the time, you should have both hands on the wheel, preferably at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions.

Entering a freeway and merging with traffic

One of the beginner's mistakes when entering a freeway is not accelerating fast enough on the slip road.

The truth is that it is much safer to accelerate to approach the speed of drivers in the right lane. For one, you avoid a rear-end collision with an impatient driver behind you on the ramp. However, do not exceed the ramp speed limit until you are ready to merge.

As you approach the bottom of the ramp, check your left mirror for a gap in traffic and use your turn signal. Only stop if traffic conditions leave you no other option. You can slow down a bit, ease off the gas without braking, to wait for a gap while in the merging lane. As soon as a space appears, move into the right lane.

Remember that driveways are not always level. It can go uphill or downhill at times depending on where you board. One last piece of advice, always make sure there are no "Do Not Enter" or "Wrong Way" signs. If you see them, stop and turn around as soon as it is safe.

roadside emergencies

When driving on the highway, always be aware of unexpected circumstances, such as B. Objects on the road and suddenly stopped traffic. When you see road hazards, turn on your brake lights and headlights to warn vehicles behind you.

Do not load trucks. it won't be just youin your blind spot, but even your tires can throw up rocks and gravel that can damage your windshield. Be especially careful with trucks with loaded boxes. If an item falls off a truck right in front of you, you may not have time to stop or dodge it.

If your car breaks down on the highway, don't panic. Instead, follow these guidelines:

  • Use your brake lights and turn signals to warn others.

  • Pull your vehicle close to the shoulder - it's even better off the road if possible. Use the shoulder next to the center divider only when necessary.

  • Use your hazard lights when parking on the shoulder to warn oncoming traffic.

  • Call for help and get your vehicle towed off the road as soon as possible.

Safe driving in heavy traffic

When there is a traffic jam or traffic jam, two things are important:

  1. You must keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front. Until the flow of traffic picks up, be aware of the likelihood of impatient drivers entering this area and be prepared to adjust your speed accordingly.

  2. Even when traffic is at a standstill, you must resist the urge to look at your cell phone. It is against the law inalmost all statesFor one thing, using a portable device while driving makes you much more vulnerable to a rear-end collision.

Express lanes and oncoming vehicles

Some highways prohibit drivers from driving in the left lane of a four-lane highway unless they are passed, while others do.have lawsthat prohibit slower drivers from using the left lane at all. If you are caught driving below the posted speed limit in any of these states, you could face a hefty fine.

When a vehicle passes in front of you, especially on a two-lane highway, it is best to take your foot off the accelerator pedal to give the vehicle enough time to pass you. Remember: it is difficult to estimate the speed of a car approaching more than a quarter of a mile away. Accelerating when someone passes on the left can result in a fatal collision.

You also want to turn right when a car passes you to avoid being buffeted by wind turbulence created when a car passes you at high speed. This turbulence can push you into the car and possibly lead to a collision.

Sharing the road with cyclists

Although they are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists, cyclists are much more vulnerable and colliding with them can be fatal. Because of this, states likecalifornia has lawsObligation that the cars leave the bicycles at least one meter of space when passing. Even when making a right turn at an intersection, drivers must yield to their bicycles. If your state doesn't have similar laws, it's a good idea to take these security measures anyway.

It is particularly important to know that bicycles can be caught in a vehicle's blind spot if they hit the right side of a car as it approaches an intersection. Always use your signal to let any approaching cyclist know you are about to turn, and never turn without first checking to see if a bicycle is present.

Special dangers when driving on highways

When driving long distances at high speeds, you may experience one of the following phenomena: speed or "highway hypnosis."

Speeding happens when you adapt to high speed over time. The danger comes when you leave the road. Adjusting to lower speed limits will be much more difficult, so you need to be aware of that.

"Highway hypnosis" occurs primarily on country roads where there are few challenges or distractions. You may feel almost numb and very tired. To avoid falling asleep at the wheel, stop often to nap in the car or, better yet, go for a short walk.

Driving technique for rural areas.

  • Cattle. The cattle you will find are herd animals. When crossing the street, stop at a safe distance. Their instinct tells them to stay with the pack and avoid you. Getting too close can cause them to behave erratically. For the same reason, do not get out of the car to take photos.

  • corduroy paths Technically, a corduroy path is a series of logs laid out over a damp area. The logs provide traction and allow logging vehicles to pass. The gravel paths are similar in many places, with grooved strips. These roads are uncomfortable to drive at low speed; You feel every hit. The best way to drive on a striped gravel road is to obey the posted speed limit. You will have a much smoother ride.

  • Gravel and gravel roads without paving. Unpaved rural roads may not be regularly maintained. It is exposed to landslides, potholes and rocks. Drive slowly, avoid driving after dark, and pay close attention to the road ahead. Hills and sharp turns can be particularly dangerous due to poor visibility. Stay to the right if possible if a car is approaching.

  • Wild animals. Many wild animals travel in packs, so be aware that a straggler might suddenly run out of the woods to follow the others. That isespecially true for deer. Moose and bison are two potentially dangerous animals because they could actually charge your car. Keep a wide arc and don't slow down to look at them when they're close to the road.

The road can be difficult. DriversEd.com helps keep you safe

Whether you're getting your driver's license for the first time or need to attend traffic school, DriversEd.com has you covered. We offerState Approved Online Driver Training Courses,learners permit study guide,In-Person Driving Lessons, Ydefensive driving training. Our goal is to keep you safe out there.

Take your online traffic school or defensive driving course today!

Learn more

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated: 02/23/2023

Views: 5941

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.