Road Safety Etiquette

driving etiquetteOur roadways are filled with hurried, commuting drivers running late for work or to an appointment. Tailgating, aggressive driving, speeding, and failure to be courteous on the road are all aspects of bad road etiquette. Bad road etiquette leads to unsafe drivers and unsafe drivers are ultimately the cause of many preventable car accidents. Becoming a more conscientious driver will show fellow motorists that you understand and respect road safety etiquette.

Slow Down!
Bob has a “lead foot”. He likes to get places on time, but is always running at least 5 minutes behind. To compensate for lost time, Bob always pushes the speed limit, usually 5 to 10 miles over the posted speed limit. Bob has never received a speeding ticket, only warnings once or twice, but he continues to speed anyway. What’s a few warnings anyway? Because of Bob’s speeding, he has had a few close calls on the road. One afternoon, when Bob was driving 10 miles over the speed limit, he approached a car in front of him quicker than he had anticipated. He slammed on the brakes and slowed his car down safely, but if Bob would have had a “tailgater behind him”, he would have been hit.

Not only is speeding a sign of bad road etiquette, but can also be very dangerous. Speeding prevents drivers from having control of their vehicles. Even on ideal road conditions, a speeding car can go out of control. Approximately 13,000 fatalities occur each year because of speeding, as well as thousands of accidents. Take a breather and slow down.

Speaking of Tailgaters…
Tailgating is frustrating and nerve wracking for many drivers in front of a tailgater. Think of tailgating as the “bully” on the road. Not only is it rude, but it is extremely unsafe. If you are a tailgater, following a mere couple of feet behind the car in front of you and the other driver suddenly needs to brake, you might find yourself smashed into the back of their car. With any luck you and the other driver will be injury free and exchanging insurance information. As a general safety rule, when possible, keep your distance at least one car length between you and the car in front of you. Sometimes this is tricky in big cities during rush hour, but keeping your distance can save you in the event of an accident.

Use your Blinker!
Sue is a new driver. She takes great car to follow all the “rules of the road” that she learned during driver’s education classes. She always checks her blind spots, her mirrors, and double checks before she makes a lane change or a turn. Problem is that Sue often forgets to use her turn signal. While she, herself, makes sure that it’s safe to change lanes or turn a corner, many drivers around her do not know what her plans are. One morning, Sue was merging onto the freeway and planned to move into the center lane. Forgetting to use her turn signal, a fast approaching driver “clipped” the side of her car as she attempted to change lanes. Had Sue signaled, the driver would have seen her attempt to change lanes.

It’s always important to make your moves known on the road by using your turn signals (“blinker”). Whether you are merging from an oncoming ramp, moving from a parking spot, changing lanes, or taking a right at the stop sign, you can decrease your risk of a car accident by informing other motorists of your intentions.

Concentrate on the Road
Courteous drivers, who practice road safety etiquette, pay attention to the road. They keep their distractions to a minimal and have brushed up on “road rules”. Millions of drivers each day are distracted by numerous things in their car, causing 3,331 car accident related deaths in 2011. Minimize your distractions by putting your cell phone out of reach, keep your radio off or at a set station, and keep food outside of your car.

Has it been awhile since you’ve learned about road safety and road safety laws in your state? Chances are that many drivers haven’t memorized the rules of the road since they started driving at 16 years old. It never hurts to brush up on rules and check out any that may have changed. Check with your local DMV for information. A courteous driver is an educated one.

If your driving habits need some work, think about ditching the “bad road etiquette” and become a driver who follows road safety etiquette. Not only will other motorists like you a lot more, but you will keep yourself and others safer on the road.

Author Bio: Lili Miller is an avid blogger, and welcomes others to share their knowledge on her site. She invites you to blog on stuff YOU know, so that others can return the favor by blogging on stuff THEY know. SIMPLY is a pretty cool concept. You should check it out!

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