If you drive, you should obey all traffic laws. You should also obey certain rules of the road that aren’t necessarily laws, but they’re still behaviors that you should follow.
The safest drivers avoid problematic activities, and we’ll discuss some of them right now. If you follow our simple guidelines, then you can get around your town or city with no issues. You can also stay safe on the highways.
Some drivers seemingly enjoy speeding. They like testing how fast their cars can go. They might see that the speedometer says they can go 140 or even 160 miles per hour, and they feel they should try to hit that number.
Speeding causes about 25 driver deaths per day nationwide. If you consider this, you’ll realize that speeding isn’t a victimless crime. If you do it, you might cause no damage, but you may also lose control.
If you lose control, you might cause a one-car accident. You may also hit another vehicle, a pedestrian, a cyclist, someone’s pet, etc. If you stick to the speed limit, then you’ll know you’re driving safely, and anyone in and around your car should thank you.
Distracted driving covers many behaviors. This catchall term might include unwrapping some food from a drive-through and eating it while operating a vehicle.
It might include enjoying a drive-through beverage as well. If you remove your hands from the wheel while you’re eating or drinking, that’s unsafe.
Distracted driving includes looking behind you if your kid in the backseat does something that gets your attention. Maybe they’re talking, singing, or crying. You should not look back there unless you can pull off the road and turn off the car. Otherwise, that distraction might cause an accident.
If you look at an interesting billboard instead of the road ahead, that’s distracted driving. If you adjust the radio by turning the dial or looking down at the station, that qualifies as well. Distracted driving might include looking out the window at an attractive person walking by.
You can look at things with your peripheral vision, but other than that, keep your eyes on the road. Otherwise, maybe you can’t stop in time if a car ahead slams on its brakes or a vehicle suddenly changes lanes.
If you use your smartphone while driving, that’s distracted driving, and this happens more and more often these days. Everyone carries a smartphone now. Even an elderly grandmother might have one.
If you have your smartphone while you’re in the car, that’s smart, since you might need it if you crash. You can use it to call for help if another vehicle hits you.
If you try texting while driving or talking on the phone while operating a vehicle, though, that’s a problem. You might take your hands off the wheel, and at that moment, you may hit something that appears in the road ahead unexpectedly.
The best drivers turn off their smartphones when they drive, or you might wait till you get to your destination if you hear that distinctive noise indicating you got a text. When you stop and turn off the car, then you can respond. Whatever the text message, it’s not worth endangering yourself or your passengers so you can glance at it.
If you ride a car’s bumper that’s ahead of you, the police and the court system call that tailgating. It’s not technically illegal, but you still shouldn’t do it.
Tailgating involves a behavior that you’ll learn in driving school isn’t safe. You should keep at least one full vehicle length between your car and the one ahead.
If you get closer, that might spook the driver ahead of you. If they stop suddenly because an animal runs across the road or traffic conditions change, you can easily hit them. That’s your fault. You might injure yourself or the other driver.
You should also not brake check the car behind you. If someone tailgates you, you can brake check them by stepping down on the brakes unexpectedly, but you should not do that.
Again, that is not illegal, but it’s still not advisable. If someone keeps riding your bumper, get over and let them pass when possible. If you can’t do that safely right then, wait till you can. A moment should come, or the driver will pass you on their own instead.
Driving Without Your Lights On
Some drivers like driving at dusk or dawn without their lights on. Other drivers can’t see their vehicles as well without those lights, but for some reason, they won’t turn them on until it is fully dark.
At dusk or dawn, turn on your lights. It makes your car much more visible, and you can avoid an accident, especially if you have a gray or black car that other drivers can’t see easily without that illumination.
You should also turn on your lights when you encounter foggy conditions. If it’s raining, sleeting, or snowing, you should turn on your lights. Other drivers can’t see you as well if you don’t do it, and you’re making things unsafe if you don’t make yourself more visible.
Use Your Turn Signal
Some drivers think that they shouldn’t always use a turn signal. Maybe they’ll only use one sometimes, or perhaps they’ll never use one.
If you’re turning, you should always use your turn signal. That lets other drivers know that you’re getting off that street and onto another one. You should also use your signal when you’re changing lanes or when you’re getting off the freeway.
It seems like a small thing, but if you don’t use your turn signal, other drivers must guess your intentions. You can avoid side-swipe accidents if you use your signal, and sometimes T-bone collisions as well.
You should consider these driving behaviors when you get behind the wheel. Avoid the bad ones we mentioned, and don’t neglect the good ones.