Even if you’re an expert driver, you have to assume the cars traveling 55 MPH and above on the freeway may not all contain equally skilled motorists. Some may panic and swerve into the paths of other cars if they see you backing up; you also prevent others who want to pull off the freeway from doing so. If you miss your exit, take the next one and turn yourself around.
“Driving faster than 80 is a recipe for disaster and maybe death,” says Jonathan Adkins, Communications Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “At such aggressive speeds, it doesn't matter if you are wearing a seat belt or not--you aren't likely to survive. Also, you ruin your gas mileage by driving so fast. If you won't slow down to save a life, slow down to save a buck.”
An 11-year-old boy was killed last summer in Westchester County, New York, when his father’s vehicle, stopped at a railing gap in the left lane of a busy parkway, was struck from behind. If you want to go opposite the direction you’re traveling, take the next turnoff, cross over the highway and take the next entrance.
Your car may weigh 2,500 pounds; a semi tractor trailer may weigh 20,000 or more. Do the math and figure out your chances of that trucker being able to stop before he hits you. Always give big rigs plenty of room, and always assume their drivers have been on the road many, many hours and may not be as fresh as the produce they’re carrying in their rears.
“Drivers need to focus on driving,” says Adkins. “Too many of us multi-task and don't focus on the task at hand--arriving to our destination safely. Is that call you are making so important that it's worth risking your life or someone else's?” Drivers also involve themselves in other, equally dangerous activities like eating, drinking, applying makeup, fist-fighting (I’ve seen this) reading a book (I’ve also seen this) and doing anything BUT keeping an eye on the road.