Basic Driving Etiquette
Courtesy is something you need to have in every single thing you do in life, including driving. You might think that the whole point is getting from point A to point B, but it's so much more than that. Remember that you're not the only driver on the road, so you should be as polite as you would be if you were walking among friends.
Guidelines for being a polite driver:
Don't go too fast – Follow speed limits. Not only will you set yourself up for an expensive ticket if you drive too fast, you'll put all the lives in your path in danger.
- Don't go too slow – Don't creep too slowly on the highway. If the speed limit states that you can drive 45 miles per hour, try to keep your speed as close as possible.
- Heed conditions – Several things can make driving difficult, including weather, road construction, and heavy rush-hour traffic. When you're faced with blinding rain, don't go so quickly that you can't stop. Be extra cautious when faced with a construction crew that is working hard to keep the roads in good condition. Rush-hour traffic is brutal, so don't make matters worse by honking your horn or weaving in and out of traffic.
- Stay in your lane – Lanes are marked for a reason. Stay between the lines.
- Don't be an indiscriminate lane changer – Only change lanes when you have a reason, such as turning or passing.
- Avoid distractions – Pay attention to your driving the whole time you're behind the wheel and avoid all distractions that can take your mind off what is really important. This means no primping, no reading, and no text messaging on your cell phone.
- Drive with intention – Don't drive along without a clue of what you are doing or where you are going. If you know you need to turn left soon, get in the left turn lane as quickly as possible.
- Stay off the horn – People who honk their horns to say hi, punish other drivers, or because they like the sound are annoying and even startling to other drivers.
- Use your turn signal – If you plan to turn left or right, use your turn signal and make sure it's the correct one.
- Keep the music in your car – No one else wants to hear your speakers blaring, so keep the volume of your music low enough to only be heard by people in your car.
- Only drive when sober – If you have had anywhere near the illegal amount of alcohol for driving, don't get behind the wheel.
- Be polite to law enforcement – Whether you encounter a police officer directing traffic or get pulled over, don't forget to mind your manners.
- Pull over for emergency vehicles – If you see a flashing light or hear a siren, pull over and let the emergency vehicle pass. Someone's life may be at stake.