Driving on the highway is usually a lot more stressful than it should be. From the cars hogging the fast lane, through to the cars that just can seem to pick a speed and stick to it.
So, in the attempt to improve your next trip on the highway, here is some highway etiquette 101.
Keep Left (Stay out of the fast lane)
In most, if not all, States and Territories in Australia have rules around keeping as far left as possible on the highway – unless of course you are overtaking someone. So don’t stay out in the right hand lanes, this means that you keep as far left as possible when not overtaking. Simple.
In Germany, it is a concept that everyone understands. Why do this? Because it allows other cars who might be travelling faster, or even emergency vehicles to easily pass in the fast lane.
This might mean you change lanes a lot more frequently, but it also means that you will be able to maintain a more consistent speed, and traffic overall will flow a lot better!
You’re driving one an 8 lane highway, with four lanes heading in each direction. You’re used to driving in the second far right hand lane. Meanwhile there’s nobody in the fast lane, and nobody in the lanes to the left of you.
Does it make sense for you to be in this lane? No. So you should turn your indicator on and head over to the far left hand lane. By doing this, you’ve now just opened up more lanes to traffic, who might be moving faster or more consistently than you.
Use Cruise Control (If you have it)
One reason why people don’t like keeping left, is because of the number of cars that seem to be unable to maintain a consistent speed on the highway. And sure, there are still a number of cars on the road today without cruise control, but since it is a piece of technology that has been around for 20 years, that excuse is slowly dying.
Cruise control use on the highway makes life for everybody else around you much easier. It’ll mean a lower chance of a car getting stuck trying to overtake a vehicle that slows up and down all the time, and clogging up the fast lanes.
It’ll also make your trip that much more comfortable. Why wouldn’t you use it?
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
It’s one thing to be focused on the road ahead of you, and it’s another to be totally unaware of what’s happening around you.
When travelling on the highway, you should be constantly checking your mirrors to see who and what is near you, or approaching you. This not only allows you to make better and safer lane changing decisions, but it might just save you from a piece of debris on the road.
Obviously pay attention to what’s happening directly where you are driving, but don’t ignore the hundreds of cars moving around you.
Bonus: Drive To Conditions
This should be obvious, but make sure you drive to conditions. If it’s wet, rainy or even a bit frosty – take it easy on the road. The quality of your tyres, mixed with speed and lack of awareness could end up being a deadly combination.