As Americans take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic), here are some safety pointers that may be useful to you and your loved ones.
In your vehicle, it’s easy to feel like you’re secluded from everyone else on the road. Your vehicle is one of many on the road, though. Above all else, you must always prioritize safety and use these etiquette tips.
Obey the Rules of the Road
Every rule of the road applies to you, so obey the speed limit and stop, yield and merge signs. Your agenda is never more important than safety.
You share the road with other drivers, bikers and walkers, so be considerate. Give other drivers the right of way, let other drivers pass if they’re in a hurry and yield to pedestrians. Don’t demand your own way or give into road rage. Show consideration and make the commute safer for everyone.
When the road narrows from two lanes to one or traffic slows for an accident, take turns merging. It’s better to let someone go in front of you than to cause a pileup.
Turn on Your Headlights
Your vehicle’s headlights allow you to see clearly as you drive at night or in certain types of weather. Remember to turn off your high beams when another car approaches. Also, don’t use your headlights as aggression toward another driver.
Use Your Horn Sparingly
The horn in your vehicle is designed to alert other drivers of dangers. In certain occasions, it’s appropriate to honk your horn, but use it sparingly and remember that laying on the horn is poor manners and a sign of aggression.
It’s appropriate to lightly beep your horn when:
- The light turns green and the driver in front of you is distracted
- It’s the other driver’s turn at the intersection
- Another driver is ready to cut you off because you’re in their blind spot
Do not use your horn to:
- Scold drivers who are speeding or being unsafe in other ways
- Vent your frustrations
Respect Emergency Vehicles
Ambulances, fire trucks and police cars also use the roadways. When you see flashing lights, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and then merge back into traffic.
Pull Off the Road if You’re in a Fender Bender
Minor fender benders do occasionally happen. Instead of stopping your vehicle in the middle of the road, pull off the road safely to assess damage and discuss the next step, which may include exchanging insurance information, with the other driver.
When you pass a vehicle with its emergency lights on, stop and offer assistance. You can also call 911.
Etiquette goes a long way toward maintaining roadway safety for everyone. Share the road, remain calm and use your manners as you drive safely.