Safe and Responsible Driving

Highway Driving

A highway is a high-speed, multi-lane road. Traffic going in each direction is separated and special ramps allow vehicles to enter and exit. Vehicles travel faster on a highway than on other roads, so it becomes even more important to follow the rules as a mistake can be disastrous.

Though there are no bicycles or pedestrians, drivers have to be careful when they drive by villages or townships.

Entering a Highway

There are two parts to a highway entrance: an entrance ramp and an acceleration lane. Drivers raise their speed to the average speed of traffic on the highway before they merge with it. As you go along the highway entrance ramp, look ahead and check your mirrors and blind spots to assess the traffic to see where you will move into the nearest highway lane. As you leave the ramp and enter the acceleration lane, give indicator signal and increase your speed to merge smoothly with traffic.

Driving along a Highway

SAFETY FIRST - Maintain speed limit. Drive the vehicle at a steady speed, look forward and be alert. Anticipate what is going to happen on the road ahead. Traffic should keep to the left, use the right lane for overtaking.

Keep checking the road ahead, to each side and behind. Look ahead to where you will be in the next 15 to 20 seconds, have a glance at as far ahead as you can see. Vehicles will take longer to stop at higher speed so better anticipation is required. Stay clear of large vehicles. They block your view more than other vehicles because of their size. Keep distance from other vehicles. This will let you see clearly in every direction and will give you time and space to react. Do not cut off any vehicle when changing a lane or joining the highway. It is dangerous for a slower moving vehicle to cut in front of a faster moving vehicle. Use the right lane to overtake slower traffic. Drive in the left-hand lane leaving the other lanes clear for overtaking.

Leaving a Highway

There are two parts to a highway exit: a lane for slowing down and an ‘exit’ ramp. There can be an intersection with a stop sign, a yield sign or traffic light after this.

When leaving the highway, signal that you want to move into the slowing lane, but do not slow down. Reduce your speed gradually when you get into the slowing down lane to reach the speed shown for the exit ramp.

Recheck the speedometer, you may still be fast because you are used to high speed. Be prepared to stop at the end of the ‘exit’ ramp. Highway exits are put ahead far enough in advance for you to change lane safely. If you miss an exit, do not stop or reverse. Take the next exit.

Tips for Highway Driving

Driving for a long time can be boring when you drive at the same speed for long distances. You can get relaxed when every vehicle seems to float by smoothly. This has a negative effect on your attention, and you pay less attention to what is happening around you.

Help preventing sleepy situation by following these simple rules:

  • Don't eat a heavy meal before driving.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Talk with your passengers, but not to get involved in a discussion.
  • Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors frequently.
  • Be alert, look at all road signs and traffic around you.
  • Take a tea/coffee break every hour or so.
  • Avoid driving during your normal sleeping hours.
Do not try to overcome sleep

If you do start to become drowsy, do something different immediately. Open a window; talk to passengers; sing out loud; move your body around a bit. Have a break and take a short walk or have a coffee and eat a light snack. If you don't feel any more alert, find a place to sleep for some time.