Proper Road Etiquette

August 18th, 2011
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A man in business attire driving

As a driver, it is your responsibility to make sure that whenever you are on the road you lower the chances of being in a car accident by displaying proper road etiquette.

In 2009 there were 235,778 car accidents on Florida roads according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2,563 of them being fatalities. That is over 600 non-fatal accidents a day. Imagine how much lower that number would be if everyone paid proper attention to how they were driving.

To help you avoid becoming a statistic, here are some tips for proper road etiquette.

  • Watch your speed limit

If you plan to go over the speed limit be prepared to bump into people who aren’t. Be aware not everyone is going to be speeding and essentially you can become the problem. Staying no more than 5-10 miles over the speed limit can help you to avoid slower vehicles and getting pulled over by the police.

  • Pay attention

Keep track of the roads and signs around you, if you know you are going to exit soon, make your way towards the far right lane to avoid having to jump across lanes last minute.

  • Pull over

If you are feeling tired, pull over, even if for just 5 minutes to collect your thoughts. Chances are the brake from driving will wake you up and keep you more alert to get back on the road.

  • Timing is everything

Whether you have a big interview or you are headed out on a date, give yourself plenty of time to get dressed before hand. Applying make-up, shaving, brushing your hair, all these actions can take your concentration and eyes off the road just long enough for you to miss the car in front of you breaking or notice that you have drifted into the next lane.

  • Don’t ever drink and drive

You’ve heard this before but it can’t be stressed enough, alcohol impairs your judgment and slows down your reaction time, two very important things you need to have while driving. Never drive drunk or get in a car with someone who is driving drunk.

  • Put the phone DOWN

Drivers using cellular phones are four times more likely to have an accident than other drivers. If you feel your text message or phone call is more important than paying attention to your driving then pull over and tend to it. It is unfair to put others at risk for your text message, not to mention it is illegal in most states.

  • Use the appropriate lanes

The HOV Lane for carpooling, the far left lane for faster moving vehicles, the far right lane for slower moving vehicles, and the middle lane for those in between. Know you speed limit and stick to the appropriate lane.

  • Use Turn Signals

By using your turn signals you can prevent an accident with drivers in your blind spot and alert others that you are trying to merge, change lanes or exit.

  • Don’t Tailgate

This only upsets the person driving in front of you, and can leave you responsible for rear-ending them if they have to slam on their brakes suddenly. Keeping at least one cars length between you and the car in front is always safer.

  • Avoid road rage

Everyone gets frustrated when driving, try not to engage with other drivers that lack in road etiquette and always keep a cool head, this can help you to avoid driving reckless.

And last but not least,

  • Do not slow down at an accident

We’ve all seen a car accident at some point in our lives, slowing down to gawk at someone else’s misfortune is not only inhumane but slows down traffic and can cause you to potentially have an accident of your own. So keep it moving.

Help prevent accidents from happening by changing the way you drive and react to others; you have to be the best driver on the road to avoid the worst.

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