When it comes to driving, there’s a fine line between law-abiding citizens and inadvertent rule-breakers. While most of us can recite traffic rules like our ABCs, the reality on the road often tells a different tale. Some rules, it seems, have a knack for being routinely ignored.
From failure to use turn signals to ignoring speed limits, we’ll dive into the reasons why these rules are so frequently disregarded and why adhering to them can make our roads significantly safer.
Table of Contents
Use Your Turn Signal Before Turning
An obvious one, but make sure you signal before turning to let cars and pedestrians around you know that you are turning. Even if cars aren’t around you, pedestrians and bikes need to know to watch out for you.
Turn Your Headlights on When It Rains
Driving visibility quickly diminishes when it’s raining so a law is that you have your headlights on when it is raining. Automatic headlights do this automatically, but manual users sometimes forget.
Give Bikes Three Feet of Space
Most states have a requirement that you give bikes at least three feet of space if you are passing them. Passing closer risks you either hitting them accidentally or scaring them into crashing and injuring themselves. Either way, you’ll be responsible for any injuries.
Let the First Person at a Stop Sign Go
People forget about the “right of way” rule they learned in driver’s ed. You’re supposed to let the first person to get to a stop sign go unless you both get to it at the same time in which case the driver to the right goes first.
Pass in the Left Lane
The left lane is for passing. Passing in the right lane is dangerous, especially when the person in the left lane might try to get back over to the right lane. One user said “If there is a car passing you on the left, do not speed up so they can’t overtake you.” Great safety advice.
Move Over to the Right Lane if You’re Not Passing
The left lane is for passing only. Some states even have signs on the highway that indicate this for people who forget. One user said, “If you are moving slower than the rest of traffic on the highway move to the right lane.”
Don’t Text and Drive
With the abundance of cellphones, this is an easy one for people to forget, but also one of the most dangerous ones. Thousands of accidents a year happen due to distracted driving.
Flashing Red Light at an Intersection Means Everyone Must Stop
Even if you are on the main road and you think that you have priority, flashing lights at an intersection means that the intersection is now a four-way stop.
A Zipper Merge Means One-By-One
Unless an onramp has a yield sign, any merges from construction, accidents, or anything else should be 1-by-1. Otherwise, you’re just rude.
Having a Headlight Out Doesn’t Mean That You Turn Your Brights On
You’re just blinding other drivers by having your brights on and you aren’t fooling any police officers.
You Have to Stop at Crosswalks if Pedestrians Are Waiting
Many people breeze right through them.
Make Sure You Can Clear an Intersection Even if You Have a Green Light
Just because you have the green light doesn’t mean you can block the intersection for the opposite direction when they have the green light. Some places have started adding large “Don’t Block the Box” signs to discourage this.