Why you should observe proper behaviour and etiquette while driving along an expressway.
We are familiar with them and have used them in our day-to-day commute. They save us time and allow us to travel at higher speeds than on normal roads.
We are, of course, referring to our expressways, which have become a necessary part of the transportation scene in Singapore. As convenient as expressways are, the element of danger is never far away, especially at speeds most drivers cruise at. To mitigate this danger, abide by these basic rules:
Before you enter an expressway, signal your intention to others and filter into main lanes when it’s safe to do so. Always pay attention to traffic conditions and increase your speed gradually to stay with the traffic flow. Avoid going too slowly, as you may hinder other motorists already on the expressway.
With the higher speeds prevalent on expressways, drivers have a shorter time to react in the event of an accident while vehicles require a longer distance to stop, so avoid tailgating and stay at a safe distance from the vehicle in front. In fact, look beyond the vehicle in front of you to read and anticipate the traffic situation ahead. This helps you to be better prepared to take any necessary action, whether that is to filter to another lane or react to suddenly slow traffic.
When you are about to exit the expressway, signal your intention early, but do not speed up or slow down suddenly. As you’ll be filtering onto normal roads, do not hesitate once you have signalled. Otherwise, other road users will be unsure of your intention and this may result in an accident.
Take a break
If you are feeling tired, exit the expressway when it’s safe to do so, then drive to a parking area to take a short nap to recover. Driving while tired or sleepy is very dangerous, whether you are on an expressway or not.
If you have a flat tyre while driving on the expressway, it is important not to brake immediately. This is because, when a tyre loses air, your steering wheel tends to jerk to one side. Instead, keep a firm grip of your steering wheel and gradually release the accelerating pedal to slow down. Do this until you stop on the side of the expressway.
If the weather is bad with rain and strong winds, drive slowly and stay alert. Turn on your headlights and keep even further than the normal safe distance from the car in front. With rain, the roads will be more slippery, and there is the added danger of water ponding. Traction will be compromised in these situations, so going too fast can make a driver lose control. With strong winds, your car may start to lean to one side, and that is dangerous if you are travelling at high speeds.
Do not drive or stop on the road shoulders. These are reserved for road maintenance vehicles and vehicles experiencing trouble, so stay out of their way. Stopping there without any valid reason can result in a fine and demerit points.
Expressways are an essential part of everyday living, but they can only be safe when all users are responsible and respect established rules.
Wish to know more about the best practices when it comes to road safety? Sign up for our Crash Prevention Course, which is suitable for both new and experienced drivers.