Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands or going on vacation, your driving habits can make a difference. That’s why it’s so important to practice basic driving manners to stay safe and avoid road rage.
Driving etiquette refers to general courtesy rules communities expect drivers to follow. The term dates back to the early 1900s and the use of horse-drawn carriages.
Don’t honk your horn
The car horn is an important part of driving, but it also has some very bad repercussions. Honking out of anger and frustration on the road is not only unnecessary, but can actually increase your chances of getting into an accident.
The horn is a tool that is used to alert drivers of potential hazards, such as equipment issues, unsafe conditions, and more. It should be used only to improve safety and prevent accidents.
In fact, the primary reason that people use their horns is to avoid collisions. If you see someone drifting into your lane, honk to let them know they need to move out of the way.
You can also use your horn to let people know you’re passing them, such as when they’re about to change lanes into yours. This can be especially useful when you’re in a blind spot, as it helps others be aware of your approach and potentially avoid an accident.
It’s also helpful to use your horn when you’re behind someone who has stopped in a traffic jam, as it can give them time to slow down and safely pass. You can also honk when you’re waiting at a red light and the vehicle in front of you is not moving.
In addition, honking can be dangerous, and it can lead to road rage. If you’re found to be honking inappropriately, you could face fines and even jail time, depending on your county’s laws.
Don’t cut other drivers off
When you cut someone off while driving, you are breaking basic etiquette. This is especially dangerous on freeways and city/town streets because it can cause a crash.
Typically, cutting someone off is caused when you switch lanes without taking their speed into account or slamming on your brakes in front of them. These behavior violations can lead to accidents, as well as road rage and other bad driving behaviors.
While you may be frustrated or angry at a driver who is driving poorly, it is important to remember that most people just have a lot of anxiety and frustration on the road. They aren’t trying to target you or deliberately cause an accident, and you shouldn’t take it personally.
It can also be dangerous to react aggressively to a driver who is having road rage. Doing things like honking your horn, making rude gestures, or yelling at them will only make them angrier.
You can try to de-escalate the situation by taking a deep breath and putting a safe distance between you and them. If you feel threatened, you should stop and call 911 to get help.
Another thing you can do to avoid cutting other drivers off is to keep your vehicle centered in the lane. This is especially important when traffic is heavy because there may not be enough space for you to change lanes safely.
Don’t be aggressive
Aggressive driving is a dangerous behavior that can lead to fatal accidents. It is also a violation of the law, and can result in fines and jail time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that aggressive driving accounts for one-third of all traffic crashes. It often occurs when people are feeling stressed or impatient, and can cause serious injuries in an accident.
A common form of aggressive driving is tailgating, which involves driving too closely behind another vehicle. This can lead to accidents because there is not enough space between vehicles.
Other examples of aggressive driving include speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and failing to signal. Failing to signal is illegal and can leave other drivers confused, which may cause an accident.
In addition, driving in a hurry can lead to aggressive behaviors because people want to get where they’re going as quickly as possible. They might be running late for an appointment, delivering a package, or trying to make up time after being delayed.
While it may be difficult to control some of the factors that contribute to aggressive driving, avoiding these behaviors will keep you safe and ensure that your passengers and others on the road are not affected by your actions. It is important to remember that driving is a privilege and not an entitlement, so treat it with respect. This can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress and worry from affecting your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Don’t pinch other people’s parking spots
When it comes to parking, most of us are familiar with the classics: fronting, parallel and backwards. However, a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that the most difficult task is usually not in your control. It is often the case that you have to rely on other drivers to get out of your way in order to park your shiny new ride. Getting your hands on a parking space is no walk in the park, especially when it involves maneuvering around traffic and pedestrians in the process. That is why it is important to use your brain while behind the wheel. This can include a thorough review of the surrounding area, a proper assessment of your car’s capabilities and a keen eye for road hazards. Using the above tips should ensure that you can park the family sedan while avoiding the dreaded snarl or worse.
Don’t use your hazards before a turn
Using your hazards before a turn can cause confusion for other drivers and contribute to road rage. They won’t be able to see your position, so they may try to turn in front of you or swerve to avoid you. This can lead to a crash.
Another common reason people use their hazards before a turn is when they are pulled over by law enforcement. This can show the officer that you acknowledge their signal and will pull over when it is safe to do so.
You should only use your hazard lights when it is an emergency. Otherwise, it is a distraction and could be illegal in your state.
It is also a good idea to disable your hazards when the weather is bad. During heavy rain, the hazard lights reflect off the falling raindrops and can blind other drivers. This can increase the chances of a crash, especially if you are driving a truck or SUV.
In addition, vehicles with frosted or ice-covered windows can be a hazard when it is raining. This is because they can block your vision, making it harder for you to see other cars and pedestrians ahead of you.
You should also disable your hazards when you are changing a tire or dealing with other road emergencies, such as fixing a car that has broken down. This can make it easier for other drivers to give you a wide berth when you need to exit your vehicle.
Speeding is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors. It can lead to serious accidents and injuries, and it can also cause a person’s car insurance costs to skyrocket.
It only takes a fraction of a second for a driver to lose control and hit another vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to obey the speed limit and drive safely whenever possible.
Aside from the risk of getting into an accident, driving too fast can affect your gas tank and tires. You’ll wear your tires out much faster, which can lead to expensive repairs or replacements.
Besides the potential for financial ruin, speeding can also lead to legal issues. It can result in fines and points on your license, which can jack up your insurance costs.
Even if you’re just going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, that can make you twice as likely to have an accident. In addition, speeding can affect the effectiveness of your occupant-protection features, like airbags and seatbelts.
According to research, the most effective way to reduce speeding is by educating yourself on why it’s so dangerous. This will help you understand why speeding is bad for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. It will also allow you to recognize when you’re tempted to speed.