You think you’re pretty good behind the wheel, right? Here’s part 5 of what you might be doing while on the road. See parts, 1-4 in our previous posts.
Doubling up in a median When turning left without a protected light, it’s already risky enough to pull out halfway and wait in the median for a hole in traffic. But when the guy across from you also pulls into the median to do the same thing, it blocks the first car’s vision (yours) entirely.
Yielding the right of way when it’s really yours I know you have only the best intentions when you let four people pull out in front of you. But letting people go out of turn creates a knock-on effect that will impact all the traffic behind you. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.
Thanks for being part of this mini-insensitivity training!
You think you’re pretty good behind the wheel, right? Here’s part 4 of what you might be doing while on the road. See part 1, 2 & 3 in our previous week’s posts.
the car in front on an uphill stop sign/light Your car might be an automatic, so when you’re on a hill you don’t go
backwards in that moment between letting off the brake and hitting the
accelerator. But for anyone in a manual, especially someone that’s not terribly
experienced with a clutch, you’ve upped the stress factor by reducing the
margin for error. You’re being insensitive if you then honk at that driver if
they roll back a little when the light changes.
Dive-bomb braking As you know, the best way to brake for a turn is not to wait until the last second and slam on the brakes. Still, most drivers — yes, this probably includes you — do this annoying thing where they lightly press the brake pedal as the turn approaches without really slowing down. Essentially, you’re still waiting until the last second before you brake for real, and because your brake lights have been on the whole time, the person behind you has no warning when you brake harder. Instead, practice what’s called limo braking: when you start braking, press the pedal harder than you normally do, then ease up as you get closer to the turn, so you’re still slowing down enough for the turn, but not screwing with the driver behind you.
left too early If you’re in a left-most of a double left-turn lane, there’s nothing more
frightening than trying to figure out if the person on your right is going to
cut across the line. Often, they will.
Come back next week for part 5, to see what else you may be doing without realizing it.
your signal after you
start changing lanes Check your blind spot, then hit your blinker, then change lanes.
cyclists One of the biggest gripes of cyclists is when vehicles cut them off when
passing or pass them too close. Cutting off anyone is rude, but it’s downright
dangerous when a cyclist is involved. Cyclists are people too, guys, with the
same feelings and rights to the road as everyone else. Wait until you see them
fully in your rearview mirror before you get back in front of them.
the steering wheel when you check your blind spot It’s astonishing how many people do this. In the act of turning your head
to check your blind spot, you move your shoulders. As a result, your arms move.
And the steering wheel moves. And before you know it, you’re already turning. Keep
your arms steady.
Come back this week for part 4, to see what else you may be doing without realizing it. See parts 1 & 2 in last weeks posts.
Think you’re pretty good behind the wheel, right? Here’s part 2 of what you might be doing while on the road. See Part 1 in Monday’s post.
Driving in the left lane on the highway Continuously driving in the left lane at all, even if you’re going at or above the speed limit, is illegal in most states. It’s for passing only, with obvious exceptions in times of heavy traffic.
Screwing up the flow of traffic by either not using a turn signal… Information on your turn would’ve been good to know 10 seconds ago so others aren’t waiting unnecessarily for you.
… or using it too early By that same token, if I’m turning right, and you’re driving along with your blinker on, how are others supposed to know that you have no intention of turning?
You think you’re pretty good behind the wheel, right? And
you also probably think you’re surrounded by hordes of morons on the road.
Sounds about right — a few years ago, Allstate commissioned a study where
drivers rated themselves, and two-thirds said they considered themselves
“very good” or “excellent” drivers, but were much less
complimentary about 80% of everyone else.
What does this mean? It means you’re almost definitely
driving insensitively, just like the rest of us. Here are just a few of the
little things you’re probably guilty of doing at one point or another without
even realizing it.
Stopping too far out in an intersection You see that big solid white stripe? Sure, you do. It’s there for a reason, which is why you should stop your car behind it. Not in front of it, not on it, not on it just a little bit. Behind it. Otherwise, you’re forcing pedestrians to walk that much closer to traffic as they go around you. It also blocks the view of anyone in the right lane who wants to turn right on red. If they can’t see around you, there’s no way for them to know it’s safe, and they’re more likely to take a gamble. And if you’re in the left lane, you’re putting yourself too close to the oncoming cars that are turning left from the perpendicular street.
Creeping forward at a red light There are two types of red-light creepers in this world. The first is the impatient fool at the front of the line who thinks edging forward is somehow going to make the light change faster. It isn’t. The second is the guy behind you who stopped weirdly far away and is now slowly edging forward and distracting you in the rear-view mirror with his intermittent scooting.
Come back Wednesday for part 2, to see what else you may be doing without realizing it.
There is proper driving etiquette everyone needs to follow
No Matter if you are an aggressive driver or a passive
driver, want to drive 20 MPH over the speed limit or drive 5 MPH under the
speed limit there is proper driving etiquette everyone needs to follow. We have all seen the out of control driver that is
tailgating then passing dangerously close can be just as hazardous as the
vehicle driving far too slow for highway speeds.
If you are hauling a precarious load or aren’t comfortable driving at highway speed, then you need
to avoid the highway all together. Not
only are you a danger to yourself but to all other drivers on the highway too. Not following proper driving etiquette adds to traffic
congestion and backups; if everyone stays aware of their surroundings, road
conditions and follows the flow of traffic we all can arrive at our
destinations quicker and safer.
Passing Lane Not the “Fast” Lane
This is a touchy point with all drivers, and everyone has
their own opinion on what is acceptable driving speed in the left lane. The term “fast” lane is very subjective
and everyone’s definition of fast is different.
That is why the left lane is and should be referred to as the passing lane and
not the “fast” lane. This will put all confusion to rest as to what the
appropriate speed to travel in the left lane is.
The left lane(s) are used for passing, so if you are not passing a vehicle then
you should not be driving in the left lane.
After passing slower traffic you should return to the right lane as soon as you
Stay aware of other drivers and changing road conditions to stay safe with ever present summer road construction. Let’s all work together to keep each other safe and moving fluidly on the highways this summer, with road construction and quickly changing Wisconsin weather already impeding us we don’t need any more obstacles. Don’t be afraid to hit the highway this summer in your Toyota Camry and be sure to follow proper driving etiquette.