April 25, 2018
It’s hard to travel more than a few miles on a Las Vegas freeway without seeing the flashing lights of a police car either aiding the victims of an auto accident or stopping a careless driver. This heightened activity is in part due to the fact that Las Vegas freeways are very unique.
A far greater percentage of people on Las Vegas freeways:
- Are from out of town
- Driving an unfamiliar rental car on unfamiliar roads
- Don’t know the exact route to their destination
- Are distracted by the vision of casinos all about
- Some may have had a late night out and a little too much to drink
And those omnipresent orange traffic cones many refer to as the State Flower of Nevada, constantly redirecting the flow of traffic, ending your lane often for no apparent reason, don’t help. The Las Vegas freeway driver might easily feel like Indiana Jones navigating the Temple of Doom!
At the risk of jinxing myself, I can report that I’ve not had an accident for over 30 years. Here are a few simple freeway driving principles I believe have kept me safe, made freeway driving a more relaxing experience and saved fuel while helping me arrive at my destination faster.
1) Give yourself time for a relaxed trip.
If you leave home or work at the last minute and end up rushing to your destination, you’re likely to speed, take chances, cut other drivers off and put yourself and others at risk. Besides, if your trip is relaxed, you’ll be your best, most effective self at your destination.
2) Eliminate all distractions inside your vehicle.
Definitely no texting or hand-held devices! Your goal is to be completely at peace and focused on the road.
3) Don’t make any quick moves.
This includes sudden acceleration, deceleration and lane changes. This will give the drivers around you a chance to react. Make every change in speed and direction gradual. If by chance you should not happen to see another driver, you’ll both have more time to react.
4) Get into the exit lane about a half mile before the exit.
If you’re in the correct lane well before the exit comes up, you won’t need to suddenly change lanes, or rudely squeeze in front of another vehicle, risking an accident.
5) Don’t cut in line.
Many who learned in Kindergarten not to cut in line seem to have forgotten that rule when it comes to driving. We’ve all seen the “left lane ends in one mile” sign and vehicles pushing ahead in the left lane until the last minute, then squeezing in front of polite drivers. Is your need more urgent than that of the others on the road? Sometimes, just for fun, count the seconds you would have saved by rushing to push ahead of 5 cars, risking yourself and others. You’ll find all that stress only saved you 2 seconds!
6) Try not to use your brakes so often.
Slow down instead by taking your foot off the gas and let the natural momentum slow your car down. This presumes you’ve allowed adequate space between you and the car ahead. Think about it: If you’re following another car too closely, you end up braking more often. On the other hand, if you’ve allowed some space between you and the car ahead, and you take your foot off the gas when you see brake lights ahead you won’t need to use your brakes so often. Additionally, this strategy saves fuel and money as every time you use your breaks, you’re working against the momentum you bought with your fuel. This strategy also prolongs the life of your brakes. You drive more smoothly, your entire lane proceeds more smoothly, less sporadic movements, everyone is safer and arrives at the destination just as fast.
7) If the car to your right is traveling the same speed or faster, get out of the left lane!
When slower drivers hog the left lane, they cause other drivers to have to change lanes more often, passing them on the right. This is unsafe for all. In addition, it slows down the entire freeway.
8) Don’t let your speed be too different from the cars in the adjoining lanes.
If you’re traveling much faster or much slower than the cars in the adjoining lanes, you’re not giving those drivers a chance to see your vehicle. This cuts down on reaction time, leading to accidents.
9) Keep your eyes on the horizon about 300 ft ahead for smoother steering.
If your focus is right in front of you, you’ll be constantly moving the steering wheel. The further your focus, the smoother the steering.
Observing these 9 Safe Las Vegas Freeway Driving Tips could help smooth out the freeways, make them safer for all, save fuel and help everyone arrive at their destination faster and more relaxed. If you do get into an accident, the chances are less likely that you’ll be the one at fault.
Take just one of these tips and practice it on your next freeway trip. See if it makes a difference.
Finally, if you should find yourself in an accident on a Las Vegas freeway…
Call Paul Padda Law
We’re the experts at helping Las Vegas freeway accident victims recover physically, financially and emotionally from the effects of a freeway accident.