Whether you are a new driver or a seasoned veteran on the road, driving manners are essential for staying safe and happy. Here are some unwritten rules that can help you avoid accidents and improve your relationship with other drivers on the road.
Stopping at stop signs is a common etiquette, but ignoring them can lead to chaos and even an accident. It’s also important to give way when turning right from a red light.
1. Be aware of your surroundings
If you want to be a safe driver, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. That includes your vehicle, other drivers and pedestrians. It also means being alert to road hazards, like work zones, that require extra attention.
The best way to be aware of your surroundings is to scan ahead for changing traffic patterns and blind spots. You should also be alert to road workers and flag crews, who may need your help getting through a work zone safely.
You should also keep a safe following distance from other vehicles, especially larger ones, to prevent accidents. The 3-second rule is a good way to ensure you have enough time to react if another driver suddenly brakes or stops.
It’s also a good idea to use your headlights when driving at night, as it can help you see better. However, remember to turn them on only when necessary. Using your headlights too much could cause you to lose visibility and make it difficult for other drivers to see you.
Distractions are a major problem for drivers today, and include things like texting and talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup or dealing with your kids. These distractions can cause you to miss up to half of what’s happening around you.
When you’re distracted, your reactions are slower and your decisions are riskier. In fact, distractions can be a major cause of car accidents.
A study from Columbia University, New York, found that drivers who spent more time in their cars release a hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DEP). This can help stave off age-related conditions and reduce stress levels.
Be cautious when approaching stop signs and red lights, and be prepared to slow down if the sign turns green before you can cross it. Speeding tickets are expensive, and your insurance rates can rise.
You should always signal in advance before making a lane change or turning, so that other drivers can see it and be prepared to react. Neglecting to signal can be the cause of 2 million car accidents a year, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers.
2. Be courteous to other drivers
When driving, it is important to be courteous to other drivers. This will help you to avoid accidents and ensure that everyone has a safe journey.
Driver etiquette is something that many people find hard to adhere to but there are plenty of ways you can be courteous to other road users while driving. If you are able to do this, you can greatly improve your driving experience and reduce the chance of accidents occurring.
One of the most basic ways to be courteous when driving is to follow traffic rules. These rules were put into place to reduce the risk of accidents and give every driver a fair chance to get where they are going safely.
Always signal before you turn or change lanes. This will let other drivers know what you are planning to do and they can make the necessary preparations.
If you see a vehicle that is trying to overtake, give them plenty of space so that they can safely pass. This can include moving over or passing them on the left if you are able to do so without interfering with their movement.
Another way to be courteous when driving is to allow other drivers to merge into your lane. This is known as zipper merging and it can help to keep traffic moving in busy roads.
Some people think that it is discourteous to allow other drivers to merge into their lane if they are about to pass them, but it is actually a very safe and effective way to move your vehicle through the road.
It is also a good idea to acknowledge other drivers when they have helped you by giving you space, or by allowing you to merge into their lane. It doesn’t take much to thank them and it could mean the world to them!
Being courteous to other drivers is important because it will prevent road rage and improve your overall driving experience. Being aggressive or angry while driving is a common cause of accidents and can even lead to fatal injuries.
3. Don’t be aggressive
Aggressive driving can be a dangerous way to travel, so it is important to learn how to behave safely when you are behind the wheel. This can help you avoid road rage and accidents on the highway.
Some of the most common types of aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, changing lanes abruptly and cursing at other drivers. These actions can cause serious harm to other motorists and passengers.
These behaviors are not always caused by a conscious decision to be aggressive, but they can be triggered by a number of factors. Some of these factors may be psychological in nature, such as stress or frustration. Others are simply a result of driving in a crowded and congested environment.
Many of these behaviors can also be a result of inattention and errors. Some people may be too focused on their own thoughts and emotions when they are behind the wheel, which can lead to mistakes.
For example, a driver may be distracted by talking on the phone or watching TV. These activities may cause them to miss important cues or fail to obey traffic laws.
Another reason that some people act aggressively on the road is because they are rushed and stressed out. They might be running late to work, school, or another appointment and need to get somewhere on time.
These pressures can make it difficult for some drivers to tolerate delays on the highway, which can lead to behaviors like tailgating or changing lanes quickly. Some drivers might even start to curse at other drivers if they can’t get past them in a timely manner.
A large percentage of people who engage in aggressive driving behavior do so without realizing it. They might have anger issues, or they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Some people have been trained to be aggressive by their parents or family members, who might have taught them that being aggressive is a good way to get what you want in life. Some people have been exposed to violent video games, or have seen movies that show a lot of action on the roads.
4. Give people a wave
The wave is the best way to say “thanks” in traffic. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it doesn’t even involve you lifting your hand off the wheel. It’s a little bit like giving someone a thumbs up or a flashy hi sign, and it can make a world of difference to the recipient of your gesture as well as your own mood!
For example, how many times have you pulled into the right lane of a busy highway only to be waved to go by a driver who was already in the left-hand lane? Or how about when you’re waiting for a green light to turn on a red light only to have a car waving in your direction pull up and signal you that it’s safe to make the turn?
If you’ve ever been in this situation, you may have been frustrated with the other driver for not waving back. But when you give them a friendly wave, your feelings change and you start feeling grateful. You know that other drivers will be inspired to do the same if you can teach them the proper way to give a wave when they’re driving.
But before you start thinking that a wave is the simplest way to say thank you, consider what it takes to actually make a wave. If you’re in the right state, you should be able to sue someone for doing the wave-sensing-miambo. In New Jersey, for example, a jury must decide whether or not a person can be sued for making a simple wave in front of a car that was already in the right lane, but that decision is largely dependent on local laws and the case law in that state.
But the most common courtesy wave is a wiggle of the fingers. This is often done by hanging the pinky finger, but can also be achieved with a taut, finger-together salute. It’s often used by Meemaws and church ladies. But you don’t have to be a Meemaw to wave this way, so try it out!