We all have to start off learning how to drive on the freeway by first driving on the streets. If you’re a new driver you can check out this article.
For those who are already starting to drive on the freeway, you can look at the hacks below to help with some areas that you might not have thought about before when driving on the freeway.
The more I drove my car as a beginner, the more inspiration I got to hone my driving skills. After persistent practice, I found techniques that helped me drive well on the freeway. Below will share my advice.
1. Be Aware
Don’t keep your eyes fixed on vehicles moving ahead of you. When you focus on the movement of the front vehicle or the action of its driver, you are more likely to do what that driver does.
Look behind and at the sides. If you find many vehicles going in front of you, look at the spaces between them. If you look far ahead, your brain gets important information earlier.
Basically, you are more aware of your surroundings so you have sufficient time to respond to any potential threat. Thus, your hands and feet get ready in time to avoid problems.
2. Proper Hand Position
Considering the steering wheel like a clock; put your hands at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions for more control. Some people like to use the 12 and 6 o’clock positions but this can become problematic if a quick response is needed.
Put your hands at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions for quicker response time and when changing lanes.
Decide if you need increased stability or better handling. You can keep your hands at these positions on the freeway but practice on the street first.
Sometimes your steering wheel may not allow for the best possible position. Find a place to practice different hand positions and see what works best before going on the freeway.
3. Prioritize Safety
If you are increasing the speed of your car to save time, you have the wrong notion. It is better to be late than never.
Use your cruise control to help you stay at a consistent speed. Practice taking 3 deep breaths when you feel anxious to speed. Listen to calming/slow-tempo music to help set a good mood for driving safely.
Reach your destination by going a little slower, rather than never. You should go with the flow of traffic generally unless it is unsafe.
keep everyone’s safety in mind and the potential consequences of fast driving. You will then never feel the need to exceed the recommended speed.
4. Electro-stimulation of Your Tongue
Many densely-packed nerve endings merge in your tongue. If you activate those nerve endings, they send electric signals to the area of your brain which is responsible for balancing.
I may be possible to use this balancing signal to help you sense if your car is doing what you intended it to do. If you push your tongue against the roof of your mouth, you may become hypersensitive to the loss of control of your car.
You may be able can react at the right moment and keep things under your control during those moments that seem like they might get out of control.
5. Braking Precognition
Have you ever thought something is going to happen with a car up the road? You can tell the situation isn’t right and you hover your foot above the brake pedal.
You’re using your precognitive powers. We can all predict the future to a degree. If you are very alert to the behavior of the cars on the road and the road conditions, you can predict what might happen.
By hovering your foot over the brake pedal when you sense a possible problem you are reducing the time it takes to slow down your car in an emergency. If you are on a highway, you may need to stop 50 ft. faster during an accident.
6. Do One At a Time
If you want your car to do what you want, consider it as an attractive dance partner, you wish to impress. Be gentle and smooth.
Sometimes it’s best to swerve if a car suddenly stops in front of you instead of putting on the brakes. If you’re tense and try to do both at the same time you could end up doing neither well.
You can accelerate, you can put the breaks, or you may steer, but only do one action at a time to avoid mistakes. Sometimes a rapid succession of actions is necessary.
At the same time, you need to be steady, careful, and smooth in your actions. A little practice somewhere safe couldn’t hurt.
If you put your brake heavily while turning, you cannot take the turn as well as you want and your car may spin.
7. Avoid Slamming On The Brakes
When you slam on the gas, the car throws its weight around. Each car is a bit different. Placing a large load on the tires can make the car difficult to steer.
We need to steer in some situations to avoid a car and in other situations slamming on the brakes means losing control of the car, such as during rain or snow.
When the brake hurls the car’s weight forward it can mean the front tires maneuver differently and the driver needs to know that letting off the brakes for a moment can help them avoid an accident.
8. Ditch Distractions
You know that texting while driving is against the law and is extremely dangerous. Place your phone on mute or airplane mode. Place your phone in the glove box if you are really tempted.
If you have an urgent call, make sure you can use the speakerphone so you don’t have to touch or hold your phone. Know how to connect your phone to your car audio system to receive and make calls easier.
There are a lot of other issues that may cause a distraction while you are driving; such as; eating while driving, fiddling with the radio, and having a very talkative passenger beside you.
There may be situations where you don’t know where you are or how you can get to where you are going. Panicking over where to turn can get you into a fender bender and take hours to days away from your life.
Therefore, plan and GPS your route as clearly as possible before the start of your journey.
9. Pull Down When Turning
We have two types of muscle fibers; namely slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch is used when endurance is required and fast twitch is for shorter bursts of energy.
Your arm has about 60% fast twitch muscles in your biceps and triceps. So when you turn the wheel you are using some of these muscles to steer your car.
Your triceps are generally bigger. So if you need to turn, pulling down left or right will activate the triceps muscles and can be more efficient than pulling the steering wheel up and over and using the biceps.
You also have an advantage because your muscles may have to do less work when pulling down since they are going from high to low.
Therefore, when you are taking a left turn, instead of pushing up too much with your right hand, pulling down on the steering with your left hand can give you more dexterity or control over the car and your arms will likely tire less over time.
10. A Smooth Ride For Better Handling
When you slam on the gas, the weight of your car is thrown to the rear, thus reducing pressure on the front tires. If you suddenly brake, the weight of your car hurls forward.
If you drive like this on the freeway, you may find it difficult to maneuver well in different situations.
You maintain control better, smooth shifting and stead accelerating and braking are required. Consider the shift knob like an egg. Hard shifting can be fun, but it can get messy.
Delicate driving can make your drive seamless and squeeze more miles out of the gas tank, including saving your tires and brakes service over time.
Tips; Short-distance Trips
- Do not take up a trip when you are tired. Take proper rest before you start.
- Get your tires properly inflated.
- Avoid warming up the car in an enclosed area.
- Do not mix radial tires with other types of tires.
- At least, half fill your gas tank to avoid any freeze-up of the gas line…
- Do not use your parking brake in cold or snowy weather
- Avoid using cruise control while you are driving on a surface slippery, because of being wet, icy or sandy.
- Focus on looking and steering where you intend to go.
- Use your seat belt.
Long-distance Winter Trips
- Watch the weather reports and take special care if you are visiting isolated areas. If you find any adverse indication, you should delay the trip. Be sure to let others know all about your proposed trip such as route, destination, and expected time of returning
- Ensure that your car is in peak operating condition for which you should get it thoroughly inspected by a reputed auto repair facility.
- Keep your gasoline tank full when you start and half-full, all the time.
- Carry your cellular phone, blankets, hats, gloves, warm coats, sweaters, food, water, and first-aid and prescribed medications.
- If you are required to dig your car out of the snow, then avoid ever-exerting yourself, physically and mentally.
- In the case of any distress, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna.
- See that the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, mud, or ice. If clogged, the exhaust may cause the hazardous carbon monoxide gas, to leak into the passenger compartment, while your engine is running.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly for regaining traction and avoiding any skids.
- Believe in the adage ‘slow and steady wins the rest’ so that you get time to maneuver at stopping and turning.
- Do not try to power up uphill.
Reminders for New Drivers
- Put your eyes as far down as possible on the road to uncover important traffic-related information for taking proper decisions.
- Maintain a safe distance while following another vehicle.
- Instead of staring at the traffic, shift your eyes constantly to keep up with changing traffic conditions
- Use your horn, signals, and lights to establish eye contact with pedestrians and motorists and communicate with them, about your action.
- Escape conflict if confronted.
I grew up in Minneapolis and then moved to Boston. Having passed through different rough and tough conditions, I like to drive more slowly and with proper attention, while I am driving in the weather.
There is a host of challenges that you have to face while driving in winter. Snow, slush, and icy roads are the main constraints for drivers to see, slow, and stop. I like to share with you the following driving tips for winter. These can make your next winter trip easier and more enjoyable.