There’s nothing like the freedom of a driver’s license. Just that one piece of plastic can open up a whole new world of possibilities for a teen. From driving yourself to school to taking a road trip across the country, a license allows for infinite travel possibilities. However, to travel far, you must learn how to drive on the interstate or freeway.
Have you ever thought about how the entire United States is connected by veins of concrete and asphalt? Montana is connected to Florida, Los Angeles is connected to Washington, D.C., and Disney World is connected to Disneyland. The connectivity our states is all made possible by our Interstate Highway System.
We get it – driving on the interstate can be a daunting task. That is why we are here to give you some tips on how to travel safely:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice!
No one can master driving down the interstate without putting time and effort into learning the skills. Practice with your parents or other capable adults so they can coach you along. Practice skills such as merging, changing lanes and exiting.
2. Going at it Alone
Driving down the interstate alone for the first time can be nerve-racking. Make sure you choose a clear day during a period of light traffic, like weekends and evenings. Drive in a car that you are comfortable with and choose an area that is familiar to you.
3. Master the Merge
It is easy to feel stressed when merging. Remember to always use a turn signal and try to accelerate enough to enter oncoming traffic safely. Try to limit distractions like music and chatter, so you can fully focus.
4. Changing Lanes with Ease
Changing lanes is inevitable with interstate driving, so it is important to be prepared. Use your rear and side view mirrors to check that there is a wide enough gap in traffic for you to safely fit – and always remember to check your blind spot! It’s called a blind spot for a reason and should be checked regularly and often.
5. Finding a Safe Speed
Maintaining a safe speed on the interstate is dependent on traffic patterns. Start out using the right lane only and leave the far left lane for passing others. Driving too slow in the far left lane can lead to collisions with faster cars – you can even be fined for it in some states. Try to keep pace with the flow of traffic, but never exceed the speed limit.
Enjoy the freedom to explore new places that the interstate gives you, but remember to be safe along the way. If you ever feel overwhelmed, exit the freeway and find a safe place to pull over and take a break. Good luck on your new adventures! Tell us about the places you go on Facebook and Twitter.