I gotta get something off my chest. It’s not pretty.
For a while now, it seems drivers are getting more careless — and less courteous — on the road. I find this driving behavior not only reckless but selfish. And rude.
Whew. There. I said it.
The thing is, I don’t understand the behavior. Yeah, I know driving can be a stressful experience, but it seems as if people think this stress gives them license to be uncivil. As if they can do anything they want while on the road. As if they come first, and damn anyone else around them. So in the interest of making driving life happier, and promoting safety and this little thing called courtesy, I figured I’d share some driving etiquette tips.
How many do you know? Better yet, how many will you take to heart every time you get behind the wheel?
Oh. Some advance warning. There’s some snarkiness ahead. And maybe a little venting. But it’s all meant with the best of intentions. 🙂
Follow the speed limit. Yeah, I know this one seems obvious. But it seems many people are in more of a rush these days and will sit on your ass thinking they can bully you into driving faster. Ummm, no. Speed limits are there for a reason, and mainly for safety. Yours and ours.
Signal when you change lanes. This one drives me nuts. Drivers can’t read your mind and they certainly don’t know where you’re going. Signaling a lane change or a turn gives others advance warning of your intentions and lets them know where you’re heading. It also gives other drivers time to react — slow down, or let you in front of them — and give you the space you need to make your move.
Stay in your lane. And don’t be an indiscriminate lane changer. Stay between the lines when you drive. Need to change lanes? See tip #2.
Focus on your driving and drive with intention. Know where you’re going and know how you’re going to get there. And if you know you’ve got a turn coming up, don’t wait until the last minute to change lanes to do so.
PUT. DOWN. THE. DAMNED. PHONE. Does it need to be more obvious than that?? If you need to text, open an app, find your music…you shouldn’t be driving. Period. Don’t have Bluetooth? Pull over to the side of the road to talk. So what if it slows you down. Pulling over makes it safer for everyone, because I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen driving and talking with the phone in their hand and can’t stay in their lane! (which points back to tip #3 above). Worse, if you’re holding the phone in one hand while you drive, that means you have only one hand on the wheel! Unsafe folks. Very unsafe.
Missed your turn? Entrance ramp? Exit ramp? Don’t swerve through lanes of traffic and cut everyone off to try to make up for your oversight. The truth of it is, you don’t come first. You’re not the only person on the road. You’re not the only one with a destination. Drive to the next turn or next exit or entrance, and loop around. It’s safer that way.
Be polite to law enforcement. Whether it’s a police officer directing traffic or one who’s pulled you over, show them respect and manners. They’re just trying to do what’s best for all of us.
Don’t honk your horn. Unless it’s to warn someone! I can’t tell you how often I’ve sat at a red light only to have it turn green, and the driver four cars back nails the horn as if it’ll get the rest of us to move faster. Sheesh. Get a grip, people. It’s not our fault if you’re running late. Take a deep breath and wait. You’ll get where you need to go. Promise.
Don’t block the grid. If you’re approaching an intersection and notice heavy traffic ahead, stop at the light and keep the grid clear. This way, if your light turns red, you don’t block drivers who now have the green and you don’t jam up traffic.
Don’t block driveways. If you’re approaching stopped traffic or a red light and there’s a driveway on your side of the road, don’t block the driveway. Keeping clear of that driveway allows other drivers to pull in and out and keeps traffic moving.
Send a “thank you” with a hand wave. Even though you’re in the car, other drivers can still see you. So if someone lets you merge in front of them, give them a little hand wave. It’s a nice way of sending back your appreciation.
Park in only one parking spot. No one needs two spots. Really. They don’t.
Let drivers pull out of their parking spot. If a driver is pulling out of a parking spot and is at least a third of the way out, let them finish the move and drive away. At that point, the driver in the parking spot has the right of way. So instead of blowing past the driver, stop. Wait. Then go.
Have any other driving courtesy tips to share? If so, I’d love to hear them!
In the meantime, remember this: you’re not the only person on the road, and the rest of us want to have as much of a pleasant, easy, and safe driving experience as you do. 🙂
♥ Namaste ♥
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