If you’re a driver, it’s important to follow good driving manners. It can help you stay safe on the road and keep everyone else around you safer too.
Some of the most common bad driving etiquette includes tailgating, honking and daydreaming at stop lights. Here are some tips to avoid these annoying habits.
1. Be courteous
Whether you are on your way to work, running an errand or simply out for fun, being courteous can make driving safer and more enjoyable. It will also reduce your stress level and prevent road rage.
Using common courtesy helps you avoid the most common driving mistakes that can put others at risk of injury or death. It will save you money, help other drivers and make you a happier driver overall!
If you’re passing someone, give them a friendly wave or a smile. It’s an easy way to show them that you appreciate their kindness and a great way to diffuse any tension.
Similarly, if you’re changing lanes and notice that another vehicle is approaching from behind, don’t pull into their lane! This can create a traffic jam and will cause other cars to back up.
2. Be patient
When it comes to driving, there are many things you can do to keep yourself and others safe. One of the most important is being patient, even when you’re frustrated with traffic.
It’s hard to find patience when someone is cutting in front of you or riding the kerb to pass stopped traffic, but it’s vital to keeping everyone safe.
Aside from the usual precautions like wearing your seatbelt and not talking on your phone, there are a few other etiquette tips to remember. Some are as simple as using your turn signal before you actually turn, while others are more complicated, such as letting other drivers merge in front of you.
3. Be aware
Whether you’re new to driving or an experienced driver, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Staying focused and paying attention can help keep you safe on the road, and it will also save you time and money.
When you’re stopped at a light, for example, look left and right to see if there is traffic coming in your direction. This can help you avoid a collision, especially if the driver in front of you doesn’t have their brake lights on.
It’s also polite to let someone merge into your lane when they are in need of space. It’s not always necessary to do this, but it is a common courtesy and can keep you and other drivers safe. If someone does let you in, it’s a good idea to give them a smile and wave to thank them.
4. Don’t speed
If you’re driving at a speed that is significantly faster than the other drivers on the road, chances are you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Speeding can be dangerous for everyone involved and may cause an accident or a ticket.
Aside from being a major safety concern, speeding is also illegal. You can be charged with reckless driving if you’re going too fast for the conditions or road design.
It can be a lot of fun to speed, but you need to remember that doing so can be dangerous for everyone around you. It also takes your eyes off the road for too long, which can increase your risk of a crash.
5. Don’t drink and drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous and illegal act. Not only can you get arrested and lose your license, but it can also lead to serious injury or even death for the people on the road around you.
If you want to keep yourself and others safe, there are some simple things you can do. One of them is to refuse to drive if you’ve had too much to drink.
Another is to make sure you have a designated driver if you’re going out with friends or drinking at a bar. Designate a sober friend or parent to drive you home at the end of the night.
Drunk driving is a serious and deadly problem in the United States. It kills 29 people per day and causes an estimated $52 billion in damages each year.
6. Don’t talk on your phone
It’s a fact that drivers who talk on their phone while driving are more likely to crash than those who don’t. The physical distraction of one hand on the wheel cuts down your emergency reaction time, and the mental distraction of holding a conversation with your passengers detracts from your ability to read road signs, listen to warnings or react to a crash in real-time.
While the above mentioned rule isn’t a new one, the new mobile phone has made texting and talking on the go even more of a danger. The best way to avoid these potential hazards is to simply put the phone away or turn it off entirely. Then, you’re sure to be able to drive safely for years to come. For more information on cell phone safety, visit AARP. The AARP is dedicated to promoting responsible and safe behavior in America.
7. Don’t throw trash out the window
Whether it’s a banana peel or a plastic cup, throwing trash out the window while you’re driving isn’t a good idea. Not only is it illegal to do so, but it can also be harmful to the environment.
You’re driving along a highway or local road, and someone in the car in front of you begins throwing garbage out their window. Maybe they’re balling up fast-food wrappers or heaving paper bags over their heads and tossing them high into the air as their car passes you.
Seeing this behavior is a bad sign, and it can make you feel uneasy. While you can’t stop people from doing it, you can do your part to help keep the roads clean by not throwing anything out your window while you’re driving. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it can also make you a friendlier driver on the road.
8. Don’t turn without warning
Using your turn signal is not only good etiquette, it’s also essential for safety. The signal lets other drivers know what you’re about to do, and it can help prevent last-minute lane changes or turns that could lead to an accident.
If you’re planning on changing lanes or turning, signal at least 100 feet before the change so other drivers have time to respond. Many drivers don’t signal, causing a lot of stress on other motorists and resulting in a vehicle collision or a near miss.
Other etiquette rules to remember when driving include using the right lane for a left turn and letting others merge in front of you. Be sure to give those who make the effort to move into your lane a quick wave of thanks, and let them know that you appreciate their thoughtfulness!
9. Don’t swerve
Swerving can put your life in danger. According to a 2015 study, about 36,000 accidents occurred because drivers swerved in or out of lanes.
Moreover, it can leave other parties in the road vulnerable. Pedestrians are particularly at risk when a driver makes a last-minute movement.
It can also cause you to swerve into oncoming traffic or injure animals on the road.
During deer season, it’s especially important to avoid swerving when an animal crosses the highway. This can confuse them and cause them to miss their turn, which increases the chance of a collision.
10. Don’t cut in
The best part about driving etiquette is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. A little thought goes a long way in keeping you and your passengers safe and happy.
There are many ways to be a good driver, from following the rules to using your turn signal. But one of the most important is being able to read traffic signals and understand your surroundings. You may need to use your high beams if you’re turning on red lights, or wait for pedestrians to cross the street. Using your turn signal may be the wrong move in some situations, so be ready to make the right decision at the right time.
There are other things to remember when driving, including being courteous to others and making sure you have adequate headroom for all the people in your car. So the next time you’re on the road, be the good guy and the best driver around.