When you drive, it is important to follow road rules and display awareness. But there are also a few unwritten driving manners that you should be aware of to keep yourself safe and others around you happy.
For example, don’t honk your horn in a traffic jam! It will irritate the drivers around you and make everyone more nervous.
Don’t honk your horn
The car horn is an essential part of driving, but it’s also a great way to upset other drivers. This can be a dangerous and risky behavior because it can escalate to road rage, which is extremely harmful for everyone involved.
Honking your horn is also a waste of breath and can cause other drivers to have to pay attention to your every move. You should only honk your horn when you are in an emergency situation, but that’s not always the case.
You should honk your horn if you are in the process of backing up your vehicle or if you see someone else who needs to be alerted. This can help save lives and avoid accidents.
There are two types of honks: short and long. Short honks are used to notify other drivers or pedestrians that something is happening.
Long honks are used to alter other vehicles on the road more urgently. This is especially important if you notice another driver making a mistake or trying to blow through a red light.
Don’t use your horn when you’re angry or frustrated. This will only serve to cause other drivers to become defensive and make even more mistakes.
You should also don’t honk your horn if you’re going to be late for work or school. It’s rude and it can disrupt other drivers who are on their way to or from work.
Don’t drive in the left lane
In many states, it is illegal to drive in the left lane if you are not passing another car. It is also dangerous to do so. This is because you can cause other cars to slow down and create a traffic backup.
You can get pulled over for this, and you will face a fine. Some states like Washington, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas have started to issue tickets to drivers who stay in the left lane too long.
The problem with this is that the left lane is only supposed to be used when passing or turning. If you drive too much in this lane, other drivers will have to weave back and forth. This can make driving more stressful and even cause accidents.
If you need to pass on the right, check your mirrors and signal before you change lanes. Then, look over your shoulder and back side window to ensure that there are no other vehicles in the left lane.
When you do see a slower vehicle in the left lane, move over to the right. This can help you pass and reduce your risk of an accident.
The majority of states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code, which requires traffic to keep to the right if it is moving slower than other vehicles. This is often referred to as the “keep right” law. In addition, some states enforce the move over law, which means that if there are stopped emergency, maintenance or construction vehicles on the road, you should move over one lane to let them pass.
Don’t use brights
High beams are a common safety feature in every car, but it’s important to not use them if you don’t have to. This is because using brights can blind other drivers, which can lead to an accident.
When driving in dark or poorly lit areas, you should activate your headlights to increase visibility. However, you should only do so if there are no other cars on the road and the weather is clear.
If you do not have to drive in such conditions, then your vehicle’s low beam headlights should suffice. This will allow you to see far enough ahead that you can safely make a turn or go over the speed limit without causing an accident.
Similarly, high beams are not necessary when you’re approaching another car from behind. Rather, you should dim your high beams or switch them to low beams when you see a vehicle coming.
Drivers who keep their high beams on in the middle of a highway are not only violating a state law, but they also are decreasing their own visibility to other vehicles. Moreover, this can cause other drivers to become distracted and unable to respond quickly.
Despite their importance, surprisingly, only half of all motorists use their high beams properly. This can be caused by many different factors, including a lack of awareness and the misconception that they can see well without them.
Don’t throw trash out the window
The act of throwing trash out the window is a big no-no in many countries around the world. It is not only a violation of the law, but it also has many negative effects on the environment and your own safety. Especially when you are traveling at high speeds, the risk of collision is higher, so it is important to keep your trash and garbage confined to your vehicle.
For instance, you are driving along the highway and you see a car in front of you tossing out fast-food wrappers as it zooms by. You might even catch a glimpse of the driver who is heaving a soft drink can or glass bottle high into the air while he drives past.
Alternatively, you might be driving along a neighborhood street and see the same thing happen to the driver behind you who is in the passenger seat. There are so many ways to improve your driving manners, but there are some things that you should avoid at all costs.
In fact, the one thing you should be careful about is throwing the wrong type of rubbish out your car window. For instance, a fruit peel that you might normally save for later is not something that should be thrown out as it can attract wildlife that will not only eat it but also harm themselves or others. The best way to avoid this is to use a bag for your trash and throw it away in a bin. This is also a good idea if you are traveling on a long road trip, as it will reduce the amount of clutter in your vehicle.
Don’t turn without warning
Getting your turn right is key to keeping you and your passengers safe. Not only should you not make any sudden maneuvers, but you must also give other drivers a fair chance at following your lead. This is especially true when it comes to merging lanes, changing gears or exiting the highway.
The best way to do this is to keep a close eye on the road ahead and anticipate what other drivers may be doing. For instance, if a driver is driving in the opposite direction of you and they suddenly accelerate, take a look at their mirrors to see what they are doing.
A good rule of thumb is to never change lanes without giving them a second thought. If you do make a switch, be sure to signal the appropriate time to your new lanemates. The best way to do this is to use the same turn signal you would in your intended lane, as you are doing your turns. It can be difficult to remember to do this at times, but it’s essential for safe driving.
Don’t make way for emergency vehicles
When driving, it is important to avoid making way for emergency vehicles. These loud, flashing cars often cause confusion for other drivers on the road, especially when they are responding to an accident or fire.
Unless there is a physical barrier or median between you and the emergency vehicle, it is your responsibility to pull over to the right side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle passes. This will give first responders room to maneuver.
If there is no physical barrier or median, you must also pull over to the right if an emergency vehicle sounds its siren or bell. This will help other drivers see the emergency vehicle and give them time to respond if necessary.
This is particularly important on highways and motorways where the hard shoulder can be used for emergencies. If you are traveling on the shoulder, be sure to check your mirrors before reversing or moving over to allow the ambulance to pass.
It is also important to remember that you must not follow an emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet. This is against the law and can be dangerous for you and other motorists on the road.
It is also important to move over when an emergency vehicle is approaching you from behind at a red light. This will not only protect you from getting rear-ended, but it will also keep other drivers safe from being hit by the emergency vehicle as it passes.