How to drive on a highway?
Driving on a highway or an expressway is the simplest thing, right? It’s worth, however, to bear in mind certain rules, especially if we don’t use such roads on a daily basis, and we choose to travel by camper or car with caravan.
We can encounter difficulty already on the first entrance to the highway. On the, so called, merge lane you have to accelerate to such speed, so you can easily merge into the traffic.
Some drivers, however, are moving so slowly that they have to stop at the end of the lane and wait until the cars driving on the left lane will pass. That's why, if you drive on the highway or expressway behind another vehicle, be always ready to stop. Otherwise, you can hit the back of a slower car.
The problem may also occur behind the toll gates. Some drivers, once they pay the fee, move rapidly, while others, for several hundred meters, are driving at a slower pace – it’s good to be prepared for that.
Left lane only for special occasions
Driving on a highway you should use the right lane as often as possible. The left lane is for overtaking.
Nonetheless, don’t go to extremes. Maneuvers on the highway and an expressway should be done gently and appropriately early. So if you want to overtake the car, don’t drive up to the bumper, but take the left lane.
If you see that there’s a possibility to easily overtake a whole column of vehicles, don’t pull over into the right lane after every vehicle. Go back into the right lane after passing the entire column and driving away to a safe distance from the vehicle, which was located at the head of "the group".
An exception of driving on the right lane can be used also when a new vehicle appears on the right side of the merge lane. Pulling over into the left lane, you’ll make it easier for it to join the traffic (and avoid a situation where a slower car will cut you off).
Look in the mirrors
An important thing is also associated with being overtaken. On the highway cars and motorcycles move very fast, so they can appear behind you in the blink of an eye. Be prepared for it.
Especially when you are about to overtake, check thoroughly in the mirror, if there's no other vehicle behind you, which you might carelessly cut off.
Keep the distance
The question of safety requires to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of us.
In France, the law specifies that when driving at a speed of 100 km/h you should keep a distance of at least 62 meters from the other vehicle. That's what's needed in the event of a sudden braking - the driver behind you can react and slow down his car. In Poland, similar rules don’t apply, but the principles of physics - yes. The larger the vehicle, the longer the braking distance, so if we drive a camper or a caravan it’s worth to increase the distance.
Before you pull over...
A matter of course, but there’re still drivers who forget about it - if you miss the exit on the highway or expressway, you can’t turn back. You have to drive to the next exit, even if it requires to drive for the next couple of kilometers.
Reaching the end of the highway or expressway you need to slow down, sometimes even to 50 km/h This means that you have to lose a considerable speed . If you don’t do that, you fall into the protective barriers that often occur at the narrowing end of the road.
At the end a little reminder. If you drive a car with a permissible gross weight not exceeding 3,5 tonnes, the maximum speed on the highway in Poland is 140 km/h. On the expressway (divided), you can drive 120 km/h.
However, if you drive with the caravan (or a camper with permissible gross weight over 3,5 tonnes) should obey the speed limit to 80 km/h both on the highway and on the expressway.
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