Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationSafety · 2 months ago

Tips for driving on the interstate?

I am going on a trip with a friend. It is a 12 hour drive, so we may want to take turns driving if they decide to drive straight through. Well, I have my license, but, I've never drove on the interstate before. I've driven in cities and on highways, but not an actual interstate (haven't had a reason to). I'm slightly nervous around semis. I have been around them before (I have to drive near an entrance to an interstate when I go to work plus I encounter them on highways and stuff). I just am not a big fan of them due to some of them being dangerous drivers (same as other cars being dangerous at times just they're even bigger/deadlier). Wrong-way driver risks and other bad driving habits are concerning as well. I understand they happen in other areas and not just the interstate (I've encountered plenty of them sadly). It just seems like interstates can be especially dangerous.

If my friend wants to carry on instead of stopping for a break... what can I do to avoid getting nervous? I'm a good, attentive driver. I pay attention to my surroundings and other drivers. I maintain the speed limit. I know I'M safe. It's others I worry about... especially on that long/far of a drive. I would want to ensure I knew where to turn/what exits to take as well if one came up when it was my turn to drive. Is there a safe way I could glance at GPS or something if my friend were to fall asleep while it was my turn to drive?

What tips would you offer me if I do have to drive part of the way?


Thanks. It went well. And to everyone saying ALL semi drivers are safe - you are wrong. Most are, others are not. In fact, we just had 2 fatal accidents involving semis in the past week. They were both the semi driver's fault and due to ignorance. One passed stopped traffic and head-on'd a car then the other wasn't paying attention and rear-ended a car. Another more recent semi accident killed 4 kids (semi driver was under the influence and speeding and rear-ended their car).

9 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    The interstate is probably one of the safest places to drive.  Everybody is going the same direction and there are no intersections or traffic lights to worry about.  

    The drivers of those semi's that you worry about are among the very best drivers.  They are big, but they are well under control.


    The tip I will give you is to follow one of these tractor trailer units.  They will travel at a good pace, but not too fast.  They have a good view of the road and know what is going on up ahead. The semi will try to drive smoothly and avoid doing anything sudden.  Behind them your view will be limited, but you will be safe from anyone going the wrong way.  

          The speed may be a little faster than you are used to, but after a few miles , it will start to feel normal.  And you will relax a bit and be able to steal a glance at the GPS.  Many GPS's give you verbal instructions and there are lots of signs.

        You will do fine

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Don't look at GPS, don't play video games. Just drive like MAD MAX   Know your route in your head.  Know about where the turn off is and be in the correct lane for getting off on it.   There will be a ton of signs.  Wake up friend as he will have more experience with the turn offs than you. 1-1/2 brains is better than 1/2 a brain.  He want to get there alive too.(not by ambulance).

    Others worry about those that lose focus because they are busy looking at their GPS.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Semi drivers are the Safest. Most Courteous drivers on the road. Do Not cut them off, stop short. or get in their blind spots (not that I'm saying UR foolish, but, many do things inadvertently or get tired and impatient.) Semi drivers pass me at no more than 5 MPH above my speed; SUVs just Blast past ( I ride an 88" Harley.)Give yourself plenty of room when passing/.merging. look twice, merge once.   Always check blindspot; don't overload car so you can't see straight behind you. Or get a RH mirror and have yore buddy check yore BS.

    .Take breaks often, don't push it. If yore buddy wants to drive straight thru, well, wear your seat belt/shoulder harness.

  • 2 months ago

    If you are behind the wheel you are in control and can stop when YOU decide to STOP.

    As the others drive you are doing whatever. Just keep your seat belt on.

    There is more than one lane on the Interstate.

    If you are passing something then move to the left.

    If not passing then you should be in the right lane. A manoeuvre easily accomplished using your signal lights and mirrors.

    Do you have a BRAIN. USE IT If you must write out on a piece of paper where you must turn.  WHY? Simple writing it down helps you remember. If that is too hard YOU WAKE UP the navigator.

    If you miss a turn SO WHAT.  There is more than one way to get from A to B and if you must you go to the next exit and make your way back to your preferred route.

    Cars went from place to place DECADES before GPS was around.

    As the newbie suggest you drive first while everyone is alert.

    While you all may want to drive non stop your bladder has another opinion. Plan for a stop every 3-4 hours, food,fuel, toilet,change of driver.

    During the STOP you can look at the GPS a paper map helps to review the next part of the route.

    CRAP happens. YOU avoid it by paying attention and looking up the road about 12 seconds NOT just the car bumper in front of you.

    Being tailgated MOVE OVER and let them pass.

    TIRED take the next exit and change drivers.

    Your objective is to arrive alive even if it means you take longer than planned go a different route, get lost or whatever it might be.

    Speeding ticket goes to the driver. How big is your wallet will determine how much lead is in your shoe.

    As many have said the Interstate is generally a safer road to drive on and after hours and hours gets B O R I N G. As you have three drivers CHANGE when you have had enough does not matter if it was 3 hours or just one. It is assumed the others know you are a new driver.

    In case of unusual situations that big white sign with numbers is not the must go speed. Rain , dust storms, fog, smoke SLOW DOWN.

    In normal traffic in 12 hours of driving you go about 6-700 miles add in a few stops and your travel time is about 14 hours.

    You will not be driving top speed the entire time.

    Some safe drivers ??? Are you like them?

    Youtube thumbnail

    As Driver you adjust the seat and mirrors (all of them) FOR YOU. They can be readjusted when the next driver takes over.

    You do remember that everyone is usually going the SAME direction with little interaction from vehicles going in the opposite direction like on a two lane highway.

    Get some sleep BEFORE you go.

    At this time PLEASE at your stops Wear a Mask and WASH your hands.

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  • Edna
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    First of all, drivers of semi's are probably the safest and most courteous drivers on the road. You're scared of them only because they're big and, because they're big, they appear to be going much faster than you. But, they're really not They're traveling at the same speed you are, and possibly a little slower.

    Secondly, the interstate highway is just about the safest and easiest road you can travel on. All you have to do is stay in your lane, drive at the same rate of speed as the other drivers, and drive! You won't have any cross traffic, or intersections, or stop signs. 

    It would be very highly unlikely that you would meet a driver who was going in the wrong direction. The two opposing directions of travel are separated from each other by a wide grass or concrete median, and a driver would have to cross that in order to come at you the wrong way on your side of the road.

    Just about the only thing you need to watch out for is falling asleep or the "self-hypnosis" that can occur out of the sheer boredom of driving for miles with no distractions present. 

    Sure, you can glance at GPS if you want to. But all GPS is going to show you is your present location and how many miles it is to the exit you want to take. The route, the exits you need to take, and your destination have all been pre-programmed into the GPS system beforehand. GPS is going to warn you, well in advance, when a programmed exit is coming up, and then it's going to audibly TELL you when to exit and what direction to turn after you exit. Just do what it tells you to do, when it tells you to do it. 

  • F
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Biggest danger in an interstate is changing lanes without looking. Make sure you adjust the mirrors properly before you drive esp if taking over from someone else . 

    Don’t drive too slow , you will be a nuisance to everyone else . Tip. if your mirror is filled with truck, you’re going too slow.

    It’s boring and you might get sleepy , stop as soon as you do. Carry cans of high caffeine energy drink.

    Exits are well sign posted although large cities have several , so know where you’re going before you set off .

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The interstate is the safest place to drive. No stop signs or intersections, no cross traffic. Just drive it.

  • Anton
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Bullshit:  "I'm a good, attentive driver. I pay attention to my surroundings and other drivers. I maintain the speed limit. I know I'M safe."

    You are NOT a "safe" driver.  You have not had the experience. 

    When you are age 60, then you will be reasonably safe.

    In the Interstates, driving is *B*O*R*I*N*G*.    Your hardest job will be keeping awake.

    The passenger will be sleeping half the time.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Drive for 50 miles on the interstate today.

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