If you’re learning to drive or teaching a new driver the rules of the road, you need to understand proper driving etiquette. Because you’re rarely on the road by yourself, it’s important to get along with your fellow drivers. So, check out this list of 10 driving behaviors that are sure to annoy everyone else on the road…and don’t do them!
1. Blinker Blindness: Your turn signals are solely to be used when you intend to make a turn or enter a road. Example: At a 4-way stop, you reach the intersection at the exact same time as the car across from you. Since neither of you have your turn signal activated, you continue straight (assuming they’ll do the same). Suddenly, the driver makes a left turn and you almost crash into him. The flip side to this is the person who forgets to turn their blinker off after making the lane change. This confuses every driver around you.
2. Lane Sharing: White dashed lines on the roadway indicate the separation of lanes. Do not straddle lane lines for longer than is necessary to change lanes. If you must occupy two lanes to avoid hitting something, then do so quickly and shift back into your single lane as soon as possible.
3. Boxing Other Cars In: There is nothing worse than coming out to your car to find it “boxed in” by other cars on the curb. If a curb parking spot does not have a two-foot margin on the front and rear, then you shouldn’t park there. By inching up to the cars around you, you’re leaving them with no room to get out. This is sure to infuriate other drivers.
4. Slow-poke Driving: Highways have a slow lane and a fast lane. If you are a slow driver, then please stay in the right-most lane (which is usually the slow lane). Do not drive in the fast/passing lane for any reason other than to perform a pass. Clogging up a faster lane is sure to send other drivers into a fit. Simply move over and let the speeders pass.
5. Tailgating: Tailgating is one of the most annoying driving habits. It frustrates other drivers and will not get you to your destination any faster. Tailgating a car to try to force them to move over can result in a road-rage incident or a crash. If you hit someone from behind, it’s always your fault for following too closely. So, think about the dangerous and wallet-shrinking consequences of tailgating before you do it.
6. Being a Portable Snow Dispersal Unit: After a snowstorm, wipe off any snow that has collected on top of your car, on each window (front, back, and sides), as well as over the headlights and taillights. If you leave this snow in place, it can blow off while driving and blind the person behind you.
7. Driving with One Foot on Each Pedal: Unless you have a manual transmission car, driving is performed solely with your right foot. Riding the brake confuses other drivers because your brake lights are illuminated, but you’re not slowing down.
8. Poor Stop Light Etiquette: The person who stops about 3 feet past the white line at stop lights. Not only can you end up blocking the intersection and get hit by cross-traffic, but you’re not allowing any room for pedestrians to cross safely.
9. Being a Pace Car: This usually only occurs on rural 2-lane highways. If you are driving alongside another car at the same speed, you are blocking all traffic from being able to pass. The right lane is meant for slower cars, therefore only use the left lane when passing.
10. Excessive Braking: Have you ever been in heavy traffic when the car in front of you keeps slamming on his breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of him? Or, when a car keeps tapping his breaks every minute for no apparent reason? Not only is this annoying, but it’s confusing to drivers around you. If you do this for an extended period, a “crying wolf” syndrome could occur. Other drivers may not react to your brake lights until it’s too late.
Obviously, we all have our own pet peeves when it comes to driving. The golden rule applies both in Kindergarten classrooms as well as on the open road. Acknowledging other drivers around you and being courteous to them is always a good habit to practice.