Tips, Trips & Advice

28 Driving Tips You Shouldn't Drive Off Without
Article by PoliSeek


 1.   Always wear your seat belt while operating your RV. Seat belts function primarily to keep you in the vehicle, even in the seat, if the vehicle leaves the highway or is involved in a collision.


2.   Side-view mirrors should be adjusted so that you can just barely see the side of your RV. This reduces the size of your blind spot. Adjust the convex mirrors to include blind spots, keeping in mind that objects may appear farther away than they actually are. Rearview mirrors can have the same effect.


3.   Use your headlights to make yourself more visible to oncoming traffic.


4.   Back in, not out. When you pull out front-forward you can see the traffic conditions and are not dependent upon another person. Also, most of the time it's easier to maneuver in tight places by backing in.


5.   If you must back out, get out and look things over before doing so. Confirm that there are no overhangs, low branches, or anything sticking out of the ground that you might run over or that could damage the undercarriage of your RV. Many hazards are not visible from inside the vehicle.


6.   Maintain a steady, consistent speed, close to the speed limit.


7.   When turning corners, use the push-pull steering method. Place one hand at the twelve o'clock position and pull down while pushing up with the other hand.

8.   If your right-hand wheels leave the roadway, do not jerk the steering wheel to try to bring the wheels back onto the roadway. Instead, remove your foot from the accelerator, apply pressure to the brake pedal in an effort to slow the vehicle, and keep your steering wheel in a straight-ahead position. Slow the vehicle enough to enter the roadway without swerving onto it.


9.   If you see traffic building up behind you, the first thing you should do is place your vehicle to the far right of the lane you are traveling in to let the vehicles behind you clearly view traffic without pulling out into the lane of opposing traffic. Find a safe place to pull over and let the vehicles pass, even if you are traveling the speed limit or slightly above it.


10.   If you must pass another vehicle on a two-lane road, consider how much time it will take to get around that vehicle. Rather than waiting for a clear area to pass and then accelerating to passing speed, drop back and start acceleration so you are already at passing speed when it is clear to pass.

11.   When entering a freeway, use the first portion of the on-ramp to look back and find a gap in traffic to move into. Use the second portion of the on-ramp to build up speed so you can move into the gap at approximately the same speed that traffic is moving. Merging can be difficult with an RV. You must take into consideration your vehicle's additional weight and slower acceleration and ease onto expressways very carefully.


12.   A solid white line on an entrance to a freeway is a traffic control line and should not be crossed.


13.   When exiting a freeway, move into the far right lane half a mile to a mile before your exit. Doing this avoids your having to find a gap in traffic to move into at the last minute. Waiting usually means slowing down in the second or third lane, which makes the process of moving over more difficult.


14.   When the white line markers that separate the lane you are in from the one next to you begin to appear more frequently (more than twice as many white lines), that means your lane is separating from the main highway. If this happens and you do not want to exit, signal and try to move over one lane as quickly as possible.


15.   If you travel in the right lane on the freeway, do not attempt to slow down for traffic entering a freeway, unless required by law. Maintain a steady, consistent speed and allow entering motorists to adjust their speed to the speed of traffic. This prevents you from slowing down the traffic behind you and allows for an overall smoother flow of traffic. If the lane to your immediate left is clear, move into it temporarily to allow ramp traffic to enter the expressway uninhibited.


16.   Be prepared for any possibility when you see a vehicle stopped by the roadside. Someone could open the door and get out; someone could suddenly come around from the other side to make a driver change; or the vehicle could suddenly pull out into traffic without warning. If possible, move to another lane until you have passed the stopped vehicle.


17.   The most common complaint drivers have about other drivers is their failure to use turn signals. Turn signals are valuable for communicating your intentions to other drivers. If you don't signal, other drivers have no way of knowing what you are going to do.


18.   Use your flashers whenever you are stopped near moving traffic or when you are in a lane of traffic proceeding slowly up a grade.


19.   Whenever you see a condition ahead that may force you to make an unplanned stop, tap your brake pedal three or four times to warn vehicles behind you that you may make a quick stop. Remember that following cars can't see around RVs because of their large size. Use your brake lights to communicate to traffic behind you.


20.   Use your horn as a warning device when necessary. Honk two or three times before backing up if your vehicle is not equipped with a reverse beeper. A light tap can also be used to warn someone who doesn't see you, such as a pedestrian or cyclist. In dangerous situations, such as an impending head-on crash, you can use a constant pressure on the horn to warn other drivers.


21.   Use your emergency flares to warn other motorists that you are broken down and parked on or near the highway surface.


22.   Position your vehicle so that other drivers can easily see it and avoid traveling in others' blind spots. When you must travel through another operator's blind spot, do so as quickly as possible.


23.   You should be able to recognize road signs by their shape and color.


24.   To know what is going on ahead of you, look 15 to 20 seconds ahead. That way you'll have advanced warning if you need to take action.


25.   Stay aware of what is going on behind you as well. Check your mirrors frequently.


26.   If you are uncomfortable in heavy traffic and want to avoid traffic bunch-ups, one of the easiest ways to do this is to drop your speed to about two miles per hour less than the prevailing traffic speed. Once the bunch moves on, you may be able to resume your old speed and travel between bunches.


27.   RVs are larger and heavier than autos and therefore take more time and distance to stop. Maintain at least a four- to six-second interval between your vehicle and other vehicles. You can determine this distance by observing the vehicle in front of you. When the rear bumper passes an object, such as a sign or mile marker, start counting. You should be able to count four seconds before your front bumper reaches the same marker.


28.   Cover your brakes. When you approach a situation that makes you uneasy, place your foot over the brake pedal without actually touching it. This reduces reaction time if your hunch proves correct and you need to quickly apply the brakes.

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