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Freeway driving safety tips for avoiding car accidents

New Jersey is known for its freeways. From traffic jams to famous parkways, the state is filled with more than enough opportunities for local drivers to test their freeway skills. According to AAA, freeway driving is a special type of motoring that demands unique skills. In order to stay safe and avoid the numerous car accidents that afflict New Jersey's freeways every day, it can be a good idea to follow safety suggestions as well as the rules of the road.

Especially for inexperienced and teen drivers, it's important to know that the freeway requires constant vigilance, even in slow-moving traffic. Why is this so? Freeways are built for density of traffic as well as high rates of speed. When so many cars are traveling so fast, navigation can be daunting. However, many wrecks can be avoided by staying alert and keeping safety tips in mind.

Looking ahead should be a given when driving, but distractions can be deadly on a freeway, even if they only last for a moment. Drivers can stay safe by looking ahead 12 seconds or longer to avoid colliding with cars changing positions, roadway debris and other hazards such as sudden lane closures or shifts. In the same vein, AAA recommends drivers signal at least five seconds prior to entering another lane.

Many local commuters will likely echo the fact that, typically, the right lane on the freeway is for cruising while the left is for passing. Accidents can be unintentionally caused by cars going slow in the left lane or passing using the right lane. Likewise, many freeway auto accidents are caused by one car not allowing another to merge onto the freeway or a car merging at the last minute and driving over areas not marked for travel.

When accidents do happen, it may be tempting to slow down and figure out what's going on. However, excessive or sudden slowing can be unpredictable to the cars around a driver and can result in yet another accident. Even a fender-bender on a surface street can be a catastrophic accident on the freeway. In order to steer clear of tragedy, it can be a lifesaver to stay aware.

Source: AAA, "Freeway Driving Demands Special Skills," accessed Feb. 17, 2016

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