Everyone knows that driving on a highway comes with a range of hazards that do not really apply to local roads. They build high quality highway barricades on these types of roads for a reason, as the results of a crash on the highway are nearly always disastrous – and very often fatal.

This is all pretty scary stuff and is the reason many new drivers tend to avoid the highway for a while.

But of course, driving on the highway is something that most motorists will need to do eventually. Moreover, in some parts of the country, it is pretty much impossible to avoid the highway if your car is going to be much use to you at all.

One of the ways to deal with highway driving is to become less afraid of it. Highway safety experts Valtir say that the majority of crashes actually do not happen on the highway, and cruising along at stable speed is deemed a pretty safe way to drive. However, there are plenty of potential hazards that deter the more timid or novice motorists.

One of the ways to become less afraid of highway hazards is to learn just what they are, and to more fully understand them. This is also useful because many of these hazards do not apply to local roads, and so if you have never driven on the highway, you will not encounter them until you do.

The only preparation before you head out for the first time, therefore, is to learn about these hazards (not to mention all the safety signage that you will also never see on local roads).

For New Drivers

Before getting on to the most significant highway safety hazards though, it’s wise to make a quick point that is of use to new drivers. You should display your “learner” or “new driver” sign.

In this way, you can appeal to the courtesy of other motoristswho might do what they can to make things a bit easier for you or, at any rate, might not be so quick to bellow road rage in your direction when you make a mistake.

Top Highway Safety Hazards

So, with that out of the way, here is what you should be prepared for:

Speed

Well, of course. Cars drive faster on the highway than anywhere else. Nevertheless, they do not do so across thin or winding roads with many stops along the way. They typically do so over long stretches of straight or gently curving roads, which makes driving at speed less perilous. Nonetheless, bear in mind that this speed is that which makes crashes so dangerous.

Rush Hour

Rush hour means more cars, more impatient drivers, and more stops and starts. This is part and parcel of highway driving, although it is something you can maybe avoid on your first couple of outings. However, rush-hour driving is an essential skill. The reason there is rush-hour at all is because drivers need to drive at this time.

Different Lanes

Lanes are there for overtaking – there actually isn’t, or shouldn’t be, any such thing as a “fast lane” – nevertheless, the overtake lane is where cars speed past each other andpast slower cars and so this is undoubtedly a highway hazard.

Breaking Down Can Be Scary

And perilous. However, bear in mind that your car will rarely come to a complete stop in the middle of the highway, and you should always have time to stick on the emergency lights and pull over.

These things are the very reason people are scared of the highway. But ending that fear begins with facing it.