Open road in Australia
  • Image Credit: James O'Neil via Getty Images

Let's all get on the same page

They say getting there is half the fun. They haven't been stuck in holiday traffic with everyone crowding the road with cars packed to the gills. Driving on a long weekend can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some tips that everyone can follow. Not only will they make your drive more pleasant, you'll make everyone else's too.
Cruise control button
  • Image Credit: algre via Getty Images

Maintain consistent speed on the highway

When you're cruising along on the highway, maintain a constant speed. If someone is trying to pass you, don't speed up and block them. Also, if you decide to pass someone, don't make the move and immediately slow down. Why pass if you are only going to hold up everyone behind you? And while we're on the subject, use the left lanes on when you're passing someone, not as a place to camp out. Some states like Indiana even have a law to that effect. — Reese Counts
Man driving and talking on cell phone
  • Image Credit: Hemera Technologies

Avoid Phone Use When Driving

It might sound obvious, but don't use your phone when driving over the holiday weekend. Just drive. Set the nav or print out directions. Know where you're going ahead of time. Be aware of your surroundings. If you really need to make a call, well, okay. But please pair your phone so you can do it handsfree and maintain a good view of the road. There's nothing worse than seeing a car swerving or dawdling in the left lane, and when you pass them, the driver is head-down in his or her phone. We all have connected lives. We'll all be safer if you don't use your phone when behind the wheel. — Greg Migliore
don't tail gate highway sign on ...
  • Image Credit: shutterstock

Save the tailgating for football season

We’ve all been there. Gripping the steering wheel so tightly our knuckles are turning white, screaming at the top of our lungs for the car in front to move. Traffic, especially bumper-to-bumper traffic, sucks. And when the road mercifully clears up, there are always a few drivers that refuse to get out of the fast lane. However, bullying other drivers into switching lanes or going faster is a jerk move. 

Tailgating  in stop-and-go traffic is not only useless, it’s also what sets BMW drivers apart from normal human beings. If you, like the other of millions of Americans, are planning to travel this weekend, do the right thing by driving at least three seconds behind the car in front of you. Despite countless bad examples, following extremely closely behind another car won’t get you to your destination any quicker. Leaving space will also give you enough time to take evasive action if case something goes wrong.

Patience is not only a virtue, it will also make the agonizing task of driving in a straight line for endless hours safer and more enjoyable for everyone on the road. — Joel Patel

A Egyptian man waits by his car to refuel in a petrol station near the town of Rafah. Since Palestinians have been crossing freely into Egypt supplies such as fuel have been in high demand with long queues forming as well as prices increasing. Palestinians
  • Image Credit: Jason Larkin via Getty Images

Park your car after you're done pumping gas.

With holiday traffic means gas stations can get busy, and it only take a few seconds to save someone else whole minutes. So don't leave your car at the pump when you go into the store to buy your 48-ounce guzzler-size slushie. I'm going somewhere too, and I don't want to wait for you to perfectly mix cherry and grape before I can fill up my tank. — Michael Austin
AUTO-PRIX-CHN-F1
  • Image Credit: GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

Use turn lanes correctly

Here are the appropriate steps for entering and using a turn lane:
  • Enter lane with turn signal on
  • Brake to slow down while in turn lane
  • Make a full turn when opposite traffic is clear. 
Seems simple. That's because it is. So why am I explaining this to you? Because many of my fellow Americans are confused as to how to execute this very basic maneuver. If you stop or slow down before entering the turn lane then congratulations, you've just defeated the purpose of a turn lane. You're impeding traffic. Angling your car half way into the turn lane and half way into the left lane and then turning does the exact same thing. Jerks don't know how to use turn lanes. Don't be one of them. — Erin Marquis
close up of man checking car...
  • Image Credit: shutterstock

Do some basic maintenance before you embark

Every journey begins with a single step, and when it comes to holiday road-tripping, that first step better involve making sure your car is in good working order. Simple maintenance tasks can be the difference between cruising comfortably to your destination and sitting on the side of the road with steam billowing out of the hood or a blown tire. The best part? Most of the stuff we're prescribing can be done without making a trip to the local mechanic.
First and foremost, check your tire pressures while the rubber is cool. If you're low, your tires can wear unevenly and hurt your fuel economy. In the worst-case scenario a low tire can overheat, leading to a blowout. Overinflating is nearly as bad – it shrinks the tire's contact patch, affecting the ride and handling. You can find your car's correct tire pressures on the driver's door jam. You'll also want to check your tread depth, especially if the weather is calling for rain – hydroplaning is one of the worst sensations you'll ever experience behind the wheel.
Give the engine bay some attention, too. Check the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant, and top them off if they’re low. If any of the fluids are dirty or discolored, head to your local mechanic and get them changed. Oh, and don't forget to top off your windshield washer fluid – a windshield covered in bug guts is a danger in and of itself. 
These are all simple precautions that will keep your car on the road, and keep you free from the ire of your fellow motorists — Brandon Turkus


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