TIS THE SEASON FOR DRIVING ETIQUETTE
Everyone has their pet peeves—the things that other drivers do that make them craziest. As we are now in one of most stressful times of year, it’s important for us to drive with proper road etiquette—and keep from contributing to driving stress and, possibly, road rage. After all, it is the season for love and kindness! When it comes to other drivers’ ill-mannered behavior, what’s your biggest pet peeve—and which ones of these are you guilty of? Let’s look at 3 pet peeves to watch out for.
Pet Peeve #1: Failing to Use Blinkers
Have you ever sat at a light waiting for a car to pass through the intersection so you could make a right turn only to have that car turn before it reached you? Did you ever have a car turn into your lane without giving any indication that it planned to do so? Forget distracted driving—a recent study showed that failure to use turn signals causes nearly 2-million accidents a year—more than twice those caused by distracted driving! So, remember, failing to use your blinker is not only annoying to other drivers—it’s dangerous. Don’t be like the growing number of drivers who don’t use their turn signals. In addition, always assume a driver may be planning to turn or move into your lane even if he or she has not activated the turn signal.
Pet Peeve #2: Tailgating (not the fun kind you do at a football game!)
Tailgating is another very dangerous ill-mannered driving behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 23% of all motor vehicle crashes are rear-end collisions. The bottom line is, it takes a long time to stop a moving vehicle, and if you travel too closely behind a vehicle and it comes to a sudden stop, you will crash into it. Drivecam, Inc., a global driver risk management company, states that if you are less than 2 seconds behind the car in front of you, you are at a high risk of rear-ending that car. To determine whether or not you are a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, watch to see when the back of that vehicle passes a marker. The front of your vehicle should take at least 3 seconds to reach the same marker. In fog, rain or other adverse conditions, you should double your following distance.
And if someone is aggressively tailgating you, let him or her pass you ASAP. If the tailgater is passively following too close, you may want to gradually slow down until the culprit opts to pass you.
Pet Peeve #3: Refusing to Allow Other Drivers into Your Lane
Changing lanes/merging is risky. You are deliberately moving into the path of another car, and you must accurately judge time and distance to make a safe change. This becomes exponentially harder to do when the driver of the car you need to move in front of is uncooperative—sometimes even speeding up to keep you from getting in front of him/her. But did you know that, technically, the driver already in the lane has right-of-way? So, if the other driver is uncooperative when you try to change lanes, you are the one responsible for keeping everyone safe. It is better to wait—even miss your exit—than to cause an accident. And if you are in the lane someone else wants to move into, show a little holiday spirit and let the other car in—even if the driver is rude and aggressive. It may decide whether you celebrate the holidays from your home or a hospital bed.
And remember, if you are in an accident, come to the nearest Accident and Injury Chiropractic. We want to give you the best possible care and get you back to enjoying the holiday season ASAP!