If you have a new teen driver in your home, you know there will come a day where they will have to practice driving on the freeway. The first time can be scary for most, which is why it's typical for inexperienced drivers only to drive local until they gain enough confidence to venture onto the highway. Being informed and aware can help a rookie driver make a safe transition from short distance to long-distance drives. Here are some words of wisdom from Tom's Auto Center for teens or new drivers to know before operating a car on the highway:
#1 - Pick the right time and place
If you want to attempt interstate commuting, you must pick the right time and place to practice it. Consider starting on an easy highway that isn't too busy with sufficient lane space. Also, try not to do a test run during rush hour traffic. It'll just add on to the stress.
#2 - Start training in the right lane.
New drivers should start by sitting in the right lane exclusively since the left lane is meant to pass others. Staying in the right lane will help you interact with approaching traffic, and you'll be able to maintain a safe speed there.
#3 - Leave enough space to change lanes (if needed).
Proper speed and distance remain imperative to managing a lane change on an interstate. Motorists should leave a minimum of 5 seconds worth of space between their car and the vehicle ahead. A larger gap means you will have more time to avoid a potential collision. Also, don't forget to check all mirrors and your blind spot before committing to switch lanes.
#4 - Hands off your phone!
Cell phones are the most common driving distraction, especially for teens. Hundreds, if not thousands, of traffic fatalities, happen every year due to texting and driving. To keep your focus on the highway, put your phone on “do not disturb” mode before you practice driving on the freeway.
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