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Published On: Thu, Sep 21st, 2017

The 3 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Traveling On The Interstate

All of us end up using the privilege of interstate travel at one time or another. Whether we are on a business trip, out shopping, or traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house, the interstate affords us speed and time. Both of which we all desperately need in order to keep up with the deafening pace of life. Unfortunately, there are some tragic things that can happen when we misuse this privilege and sometimes, we aren’t even aware that we are. Below are three instances that we should pay close attention to what not to do.

screenshot Fox News report

Driving Over Or Too Far Under The Speed Limit

When the interstates were first built, they were built with the truckers in mind. They were meant to make transporting goods from one place to another faster, thus making it easier to turn a profit for most businesses. The speed limit when the interstate first opened was non-existent. As time went on, the National Maximum Speed Law was introduced and the first limit set was 55 mph.

Over the years the speed limit has increased to 70 mph on average. Some states differ, but what does not differ no matter where you are is how the law should be observed. Driving over or too far under the speed limit can make for a very dangerous situation. Driving too fast could mean that you don’t have time to stop suddenly, should there be a traffic jam. If you are driving too slow, traffic may have trouble getting around you. Either situation could prove disastrous.

Driving In Dense Fog

It happens. Sometimes, especially on those early morning drives, the fog just rolls on in. In the country, this can be a pretty thing to watch and the city doesn’t usually seem to notice. However, fog on the interstate can mean, and has meant several times, a pile-up waiting to happen. If you happen to get caught in the fog on the interstate, make your way to the nearest exit and pull off. Here’s why. If the fog is too dense for you to see well enough to travel the speed limit, or at least somewhere near it, then it is likely too dense for other drivers, as well.

Unlike driving on the back roads on the way home from work, you can’t just creep along at 20 – 30 mph on the interstate. If you attempt this, it is almost a certainty someone will eventually not see you in time to stop, causing a fender bender, at the very least. Too many times, the damage is much greater. Don’t drive in the fog on the interstate.

Photo/Ed Brown via wikimedia commons

Being Disrespectful To 18 Wheelers

Truck drivers have been using the interstate much longer than any of the rest of us and are still the more avid users. In order to drive an 18 wheeler, you have to have a CDL, or commercial drivers license. With that said, it should be common sense that there are other skills involved in driving a tractor trailer that require a little more attention than a regular car. Not to mention, these trucks are normally several tons heavier and deserve a little more respect based on sheer size and the braking power it takes to stop them.

There are a few things you should know. First, never pass a tractor trailer on the right side. That is a blind spot for them. The driver can not see you. Should he/she decide to switch lanes, you could be in trouble. Second, do not tailgate an 18 wheeler. Again, they will not be able to see you. If they have to stop suddenly, you could end up needing a doctor and help from someone like Sloan Firm. Finally, don’t pull out in front of them too closely. Remember the several tons extra? They may not be able to stop in time and keep from running over you.

In the end, it just pays to pay attention to the road and have respect for the everything about it and everyone on it. At the least, it could mean a more pleasant trip. At most, it could save your life or others.

Author: Anna Johansson

photo David Peña via pixabay

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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