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Know Portugal with CAEL. Book your Car

The Mistakes We Continue to Make on the Highway

Excessive speed, the use of the mobile phone and the breach of the safety distance are the most common mistakes of those who drive on the highway. All of them not only put their own lives at stake, but that of others!
Due to the characteristics of the highway, we are induced to a sense of security. The wide lanes, the floor in good condition and the increased visibility contribute to this feeling of security and “at ease”, which often leads us to facilitate it.
For the third consecutive year, the “Observatory on the Behavior of Drivers in the Motorway Network” allowed to signal risk factors and interpret driving habits on those roads.
The study carried out on one of the busiest motorways in the Iberian Peninsula covered a sample of 44 thousand light vehicles and 12 thousand heavy vehicles, with five fundamental conclusions:
1 - Speed: the tendency to exceed the legal speed limits is maintained; more than 30% of the vehicles observed were traveling at speed, the largest portion exceeding the imposed limit by 10 km / h.
The good condition of the road and the unobstructed roads favor the feeling of safety when driving, but at high speeds the dangers increase.
2 - As shown by the study carried out last year, a significant number of motorists neglect the use of turn signals on motorways, especially when overtaking. According to data from the 2019 Observatory, 65.1% of drivers do not correctly signal that maneuver, a number that translates to a 12% increase compared to the 2018 results.
Studies prove that at 50km / h we have a 180º viewing angle, enough to anticipate dangers. But as the speed increases, the field of view narrows. And proportionately. At 100 km / h the viewing angle in front of us is already only 42º; a motorist driving on a highway at 150 km / h will have his visibility reduced to just 18º
3 - Respect the safety distance on the highway, where higher speeds are practiced than on other roads, allows to anticipate any emergency. It is concluded in this study that 15% of the light vehicles travel without concern to maintain minimum distances to the car in front.
The importance of the safety distance on the highway is explained by numbers: take into account the 0.75 seconds that is the average reaction time of a healthy person, when we travel at 120 km7h, before proceeding with an emergency stop, we have already covered almost 25 meters, to which we have to add the more than 60 meters that a car will need until complete immobilization.
4 - In 2018, more than 20% of fatalities in road accidents did not wear seat belts. In this year's report, 0.2% of the drivers observed did not have that device, which corresponds to a reduction of more than 50% compared to last year's data.
In 2018, more than 20% of road traffic fatalities did not wear a seat belt.
5 - On the contrary, the use of the phone behind the wheel has increased: 4.2% of drivers continue to dispense with the use of hands-free systems to make or receive telephone calls, an increase of 0.8%, compared to 2018.
Studies carried out allow us to conclude that dialing a contact number on a mobile phone, at a speed of 120 km / h, is equivalent to traveling 429 meters of motorway with eyes closed.

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