If you’re a driver, it’s important to know how to drive safely and courteously. Whether you’re driving your kids to school or commuting to work, rudeness can affect the safety of everyone on the road.
Thankfully, many of us live by the general rules of driving etiquette. However, there are also some unwritten rules of the road that you should be aware of to stay safe on the roads.
Don’t honk your horn
While it is a common practice to honk your car’s horn, it should be used only when it is necessary. Honking often leads to road rage, and it can also cause an accident or other damage to your vehicle.
A horn is an important tool for drivers to use. It is designed to alert other motorists of hazards or equipment problems that may be present on the road ahead. For example, if the brakes on your car suddenly stop working or you notice a large object that is obstructing the road, honking can help other drivers know about these issues.
The horn should also be used when someone begins to drift into your lane. This can be dangerous, so it is best to give just a quick blast of your horn to alert them that they are getting too close for comfort and should be more alert.
Another reason to avoid honking your horn is that it can cause other drivers to lose focus on the road and increase the risk of a collision. This is especially true when driving on a narrow mountain road, where you can’t see at least 200 feet ahead of your vehicle.
It is also a bad idea to honk your horn when you’re angry with another driver. This can create road rage and make other drivers slow down or speed up unnecessarily, which can cause an accident.
Don’t block lanes
Blocking lanes, whether intentionally or not, makes the roads less safe and efficient for everyone. It encourages tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic, and it can lead to more accidents.
Lane courtesy also helps drivers maintain an even pace and use less fuel. By not obstructing others, drivers can avoid braking and acceleration cycles, which are the most gas-intensive.
Changing lanes with too much speed can also lead to a collision, so it is best to do it slowly and carefully. You should check your left and right side mirrors, your rear view mirror and your vehicle’s blind spot before switching lanes to make sure there is enough space for you to move smoothly into the other lane.
Drivers should also follow the zipper merge rule when merging into a highway lane. This means that each car should let one vehicle over from the blocked lane, then another, until all cars are through the merge zone.
The zipper merge rule is a good way to keep the traffic flow smooth and reduce the chances of an accident. It can be difficult to do, especially when there are a lot of people on the road.
It is also important to remember that large vehicles have curved (convex, fisheye, spot, bugeye) mirrors that show a wider area than flat ones do. These mirrors can make things seem smaller and farther away than they actually are.
Don’t pinch another driver’s parking spot
Parking is one of the most important aspects of driving, and it’s something every driver should know how to do correctly. There are many etiquette rules to follow, and the best way to do this is to always be mindful of others on the road.
One of the most common mistakes drivers make is backing into their parking spot, which can be hazardous to both them and other vehicles on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drivers who back into their spots kill about 267 people a year and injure another 5,000.
The best part is that there are many ways to show your support for good driving manners without being the bad guy or girl in the process. This includes turning on your parking blinder, displaying a hand signal and using other visible courtesy signals before pulling forward or reversing into the space.
This is a small step and will make a big difference to your day. As a result, you’ll feel better about yourself and your fellow motorists, which will help keep the road a safer place for everyone involved.
The best way to make this happen is to use a hand signal before you pull into the space. This will give other drivers a heads up that you’re about to enter and will let them know the best time to be ready for your arrival.
Don’t ignore a courtesy wave
If you are driving and a driver stops to let you into their lane, you should give them a courtesy wave. This will show them that you appreciate their kindness and will make you feel good about yourself.
However, ignoring a courtesy wave when you are driving can be dangerous. This is especially true if you are turning left or right across multiple lanes of traffic.
According to RACQ, this is one of the most common bad driving habits. It is also the most likely to lead to a crash.
A driver who is going to turn right across your lane can change their mind, thinking that the driver waving them through has checked other traffic. This can cause them to make a poor turn and could result in a crash.
The driver who is turning left at an intersection can also change their decision, thinking that the driver waving them through is waiting to get out of the way. This can result in a crash, as it is possible that the driver is trying to avoid a parked car that is blocking the road and needs to be moved out of the way.
The courtesy wave is not a requirement in every state, but it can be beneficial for all drivers and road users. It can help to improve the overall mood of everyone on the road, and it is an important way to show that you respect other drivers and pedestrians.
Don’t overtake on the wrong side of the road
While it is tempting to overtake on the wrong side of the road, it can be dangerous. California Vehicle Code 21651(b) states that it is illegal to overtake on the wrong side of the roadway. This can result in a fine and points on the driver’s DMV record.
While the law may seem like a simple thing, it is important to keep in mind that there are many different scenarios that could make it unsafe to overtake on the wrong side of the highway. For example, if a vehicle in front of you is making a left-hand turn, it is not safe to pass them on the left side because they could potentially run right into you.
In addition, if there are other vehicles or pedestrians in the area where you’re passing, it is also important to keep your eyes on the road ahead of you. This can prevent accidents or injury.
Another important rule to remember when overtaking is that you should always check the road signs before making any moves. This means looking at the centre line and the road markings that separate your lane from the one you’re overtaking in.
In some places, roads only have one lane in each direction, so you can’t overtake without getting into the incoming traffic lane. This can be particularly dangerous if you’re trying to avoid an accident, so it’s always best to drive slowly and carefully.
Speeding is one of the most common driving violations and can have severe consequences. Fines can add up, and points on your driver’s license can jack up insurance costs.
Speeding can also cause more serious accidents, even if you’re only going 5 or 6 miles per hour above the speed limit. You risk losing control of your vehicle and crashing into other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians or vehicles that are blocking your path.
It may not seem like a big deal, but speeding is a major contributor to car accidents in the United States. In fact, it is the second leading cause of traffic deaths.
Often, drivers start speeding because they are feeling stressed or angry. If you have a bad day, try to find ways to calm down before you get behind the wheel.
The best way to do this is by focusing on the road ahead, not on your anger or stress. This can be difficult, but it’s worth it in the long run.
When you drive at a safe speed, you’ll have more time to react if something unexpected happens in front of you. You’ll also have a better chance of avoiding injuries and damaging your car.
You’ll also save money and reduce pollution by slowing down and using less fuel. In fact, studies have shown that a 5km/h reduction in speed can reduce the amount of CO2 that’s released into the atmosphere by 15%.