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Highway Safe Driving Tips

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WASHINGTON--Whether it’s part of a daily commute to work or the route for a highly-anticipated Memorial Day weekend road trip, drivers should always approach highway driving with safety in mind.

GEICO’s guide to highway safe driving:

  • Stay at the speed limit: Drivers shouldn’t treat speed limits as loose guidelines that are ok to exceed; this is the wrong attitude. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that 10,000 people die annually in speed-related crashes. The few extra minutes gained from moving at a higher rate of speed aren’t worth it because it significantly increases the chances of getting in a crash.
  • Maintain a safe following distance: While traveling at 55 mph, it takes almost the length of a football field to bring a car to a complete stop from an event such as an animal or pedestrian stepping into the roadway, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Along with applying the brakes hard enough to avoid the object, NHTSA notes that drivers need more than a second to decide how to react and move their foot over to the brake pedal.
  • Commit to driving defensively: If another vehicle is tailgating you, move over and let it pass. Also, steer clear of cars weaving in and out of lanes and passing illegally. These types of drivers jeopardize safety on the road, and there is no sense getting tangled up with them.
  • Drive distraction-free: Drivers may need to set a GPS destination or queue up a playlist for a lengthy highway trip. Take care of these tasks beforehand, and consider setting your phone to ?do not disturb’ mode while you’re on the road.
  • Adhere to move-over laws: Change lanes if it’s safe to do so, or slow down to give law enforcement and first responders space to assist motorists on the side of the highway.