Whether you’re an experienced driver or a novice, there are plenty of driving manners that can make the road more safe and enjoyable.
From keeping your distance to using your turn signals, there are many unspoken rules that all drivers should follow. Here are eight of them to keep in mind the next time you’re behind the wheel.
Be aware of your surroundings
Having an awareness of your surroundings can help to reduce the risk of you becoming involved in an accident. This is because it enables you to react quickly and prevent any potential dangers that may arise on the road.
Be aware of your surroundings by checking your mirrors frequently and scanning ahead for possible hazards, such as changing traffic patterns or vehicles entering your blind spots. Also, be alert to hazardous driving conditions such as work zones and reduce your speed in these areas.
Aim to look 15 seconds ahead, giving yourself time to respond to any hazards that might occur. This can be especially important when driving in congested areas where looking forwards will help you to anticipate the actions of other drivers, and enable you to take pro-active action to avoid an incident.
Scan your surroundings to keep an eye on things like pedestrians, cyclists and animals that could be running into the road when you’re not looking. This will help to keep you and other road users safe as well as reducing your stress level as you drive.
Always give the right of way to pedestrians and children when they are crossing the road. This is because they are often in a hurry and need to be given the space they require to cross safely.
Don’t let your anger get the best of you, as it can lead to road rage, which is a serious problem on the road and can lead to dangerous incidents. A driver who is angry at another driver’s actions will not think clearly or be able to make reasonable decisions.
Be courteous when driving, and don’t be afraid to give other drivers a helping hand when they need it. This can be as simple as letting them join a queue or letting them pass you so that you can squeeze past on a narrow road.
This is because it can reduce the risk of you being involved in an accident and it can also be a great way to show that you’re respectful of other road users.
Driver courtesy is the most important factor for safe road travel. It not only makes life easier for those on the road but also protects your own safety.
Driving is a complex and stressful experience, but the key to ensuring you have a stress-free journey is to maintain courteous behaviour at all times. It’s not a difficult thing to do and it can really make all the difference in how other drivers treat you on the road.
There are many ways to show courtesy whilst on the road and one of the most effective is by keeping your distance from other vehicles. Taking this into account will ensure you are able to avoid accidents and reduce the risk of being involved in road rage incidents.
When following another vehicle, always keep a distance of at least three seconds between the vehicle in front of you and any fixed objects on the road. This can be determined by counting the time it takes for your rear bumper to pass a marking on the road or a roadside object like a telephone pole.
This is especially important when you are on a highway, as there are often things that can go wrong behind you. For example, something might fall off into the road ahead of you or a car may suddenly stop. If you’re too close, the other driver might not be able to react in time to these events and could end up hitting you.
Similarly, if you are changing lanes, remember to use your indicator and make sure that other vehicles in the lane you are planning to move into know where you will be moving to. This will prevent gridlock and create a safer environment for you and other drivers around you.
If you’re in a rush and have to get somewhere on time, be respectful of other drivers by giving them the space they need. This can be particularly useful when you are sharing the road with learner drivers, who are very nervous and likely to make mistakes.
Finally, be polite to pedestrians and cyclists when passing them – it is a common mistake to swerve into their path when they are trying to cross the road. This can lead to serious injuries if they fall into your path.
Don’t cut in at the last minute
One of the most common mistakes new drivers make is forgetting that they need to stick to the road. A few key rules of the road are a must, including a proper passing signal and a safe following distance. Avoiding these pitfalls will keep you out of trouble and save you the aggravation of being pulled over or having to pay for an insurance claim. Keeping good driving manners is the best way to ensure you get home in one piece. You may not be able to control other people on the road, but you can do your part by staying aware of your surroundings and paying close attention to your sat nav.
While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask for help if necessary. There are plenty of resources available to help you maintain a safe and courteous driving style. A few of the most popular include roadside assistance, defensive driving courses and traffic safety tips.
Keep your distance
While driving, it is essential to keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you. This will help you avoid accidents and collisions that could cause serious damage to your vehicle or others.
Keeping your distance is a basic safety technique that can be applied to almost all types of vehicles. This includes cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and trailers.
In ideal conditions, you should follow at least a two-second distance from the car in front of you. This will allow you to safely stop your vehicle should the car ahead of you need to do so.
It is recommended to increase your following distance during bad weather and when visibility is reduced, such as rain, snow, or fog. This is especially important for trucks, which are larger and need more space to come to a complete stop safely.
A safe following distance will also provide other drivers with enough time to make a good decision, such as when they need to slow down. It will also help them stay on the correct lane and avoid traffic snarls.
One way to measure your safe following distance is to find a fixed object on the side of the road. When you see the vehicle in front of you pass that object, start counting. When you reach the end of your count, your safe following distance is three seconds.
Another way to measure your following distance is to locate a point on the highway that you can easily observe without distractions. When you see the vehicle in front of your vehicle pass that fixed point, count out loud or in your head to determine your safe following distance.
The safe following distance will vary depending on your vehicle, the driving conditions and how fast you are traveling. For example, it takes longer to stop a tractor trailer than it does a standard-length passenger vehicle.
If you’re towing a trailer or camper, add an additional second to your safe following distance for every 3 yards. It’s also a good idea to use more distance if you have children in the back seat or are using a heavy load.