improve your driving etiquette

How to Improve Your Driving Etiquette

What a dream it would be if everyone used their manners on the road. If everyone used their turn signals in advance, if we gave way to each other rather than cutting others off, and if we all followed the general rules of the road. Sounds nice, right?

Unfortunately, our reality doesn’t quite fit that ideal. However, we can’t help but think it may not be that difficult to show other commuters some respect on the road. Whether you’re new to driving or been doing it for years, it’s important to brush up on your driving etiquette. Especially today, we have grown more reliant on driver assistant technologies, as well as the auto-pilot function seen in cars like Tesla. Drivers are also more distracted now than ever with new car tech installed in our vehicles and cell phones in the palm of our hands. 

We’ve put together a variety of driving etiquette tips to help you improve your driving so that not only is your commute more enjoyable for yourself, but for others on the road as well. 

Use indicators to improve your driving etiquette

Indicators are a must while driving because they are essentially our way of communicating with other drivers.Indicators allow us to show others our intentions while driving and the directions we plan on going. Signaling well in advance gives other drivers the opportunity to react in a timely manner without having to make a spur of the moment reaction that could potentially result in an accident. As important as it is for you to use your indicators, it’s also courteous to respect others’ signaling and make space for them in your lane, or slow down to give them enough space to turn onto the next street. It’s a simple task that can go a long way to avoid traffic and congestion.

Abstain from multitasking and distracted driving

Surely you’ve admitted before that you’re “great at multitasking!” While that may be true, we shouldn’t test our limits behind the wheel. Distracted driving was one of the biggest contributors to collisions in 2021. Whether you’re eating, trying to get ready for work by doing your hair or makeup, or using your phone to text or talk, you may be putting yourself and others at risk. The more you attempt to do while simultaneously trying to drive, the harder it will be to focus on the road and the greater your reaction time will be considering you have to reacquaint yourself with the situation before reacting. 

Regarding phone usage, it is illegal to use your phone while driving. Some states allow drivers to use their phone at redlights or when the car is stationary, but even if that’s the case for you, there’s the possibility of holding up traffic if you are unaware that the light has changed. 

Keep a safe driving distance–don’t tailgate

It’s important to have good spatial awareness when driving and the ability to recognize how much space there is between both the car in front and the car behind you. Traffic can build up in only a few seconds, leaving minimal time for you to react and hit your brakes if you need to. The NHTSA recommends 3-4 seconds of space between yourself and other commuters. This can help prevent bumper to bumper accidents which commonly take place during congested times on the road. 

Adhere to the speed limit

The speed limit is not a suggestion. Especially on roads such as highways, the speed limits are important to adhere to in order to keep traffic flowing at the proper pace. Speed limits are set to keep driving safe and consistent. Just as important as it is to not go over the speed limit, it’s important to not cruise too low under the speed limit. Going much slower than surrounding traffic can be just as dangerous as going too fast. Make sure to continuously check the speed limits signs as you move through the city or enter and exit a highway.  

Don’t cruise in the left lane 

If you’re someone who drives on a highway often, this is an important tip for you. Technically, the far-most left lane is designed to be an overtaking lane. While many people use it as a fast or express lane, which is often not a problem, it’s main purpose is to allow drivers to pass others. The issue arises when drivers cruise in the left lane at a significantly lower speed than what is set. When this happens, drivers are more likely to weave in and out of the lanes to get around other drivers increasing the chance of a collision occurring. If you don’t feel comfortable driving at higher speeds, remember to leave the left lane for those who intend to use it for its given purpose and work your way over to the right lanes. 


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Linzi Martin
Linzi Martin has worked as a content manager, consultant, and writer for the past six years. She's handled everything from blogs and articles to e-books and social media content. Her work has been featured in various publications including Apartment Guide, The Startup, and Voyage Magazine. Outside of work, Linzi enjoys staying active, frequenting new restaurants around South Florida, and spending time with her family.

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    1 Comment

    1. I believe in safe driving when I am on the road. I always use my turn signals and if I go over the speed limit on a side road it’s no more than 5 miles over. It seems more and more that people are in a hurry and are on their cell phones texting which pose a major distraction on the roads.

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