Rules of the Road

Having recently traveled over 5,500 miles, plus commuting 2 hours a day each, the hubs and I are well versed in highway driving. Unfortunately, not everyone is taught highway courtesy before they hit the byways. Alaska is rated as having some of the best drivers in the nation, but I must not travel the same streets they do because my commute often includes asking the good Lord for patience in dealing with other motorists, but at least I’m not as bad as this guy. Here’s my top 7 driving pet-peeves:

  1. Entrance ramps are usually designed to give you an appropriate distance to match the speed of on-coming traffic and merge in without causing disruption to the flow of vehicles. Don’t “putz” down the ramp and then hesitate when faced with moving traffic as your lane ends. Most motorists are fine with others merging in front of them IF you match their speed before moving over and may even flash their lights to signal that they anticipate you moving in. I also typically follow a general rule of one oncoming car between each highway vehicle.
  2. Most exit ramps are also designed to allow you to slow down after leaving the highway, so please don’t reduce speed prior to taking your exit unless you are hauling a load that requires it.
  3. When there are two lanes in the same direction stay right except to pass, especially in hilly areas. If you do pass slower traffic, remember to move back to the right once you’ve given the other vehicle enough room.
  4. Remember that large trucks with trailers can’t stop as quickly as your single vehicle. That’s why they need extra space in front of them when behind other traffic, so don’t see that big open spot as an invitation to whip over in front of them. They also need extra room to turn because they have to compensate for the length of their rig, so don’t try to squeeze in next to them as you approach an intersection. That long load also prevents them from seeing you behind them, even at what you might think is a ‘safe’ distance. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t see the trucks mirrors, he can’t see you.
  5. Yield to emergency vehicles when their lights and/or sirens are active unless you’re on a divided road. When you see an approaching response vehicle, slow down and move to the right if it’s safe to do so, without cutting off other motorists. Failing to do so is illegal in most countries and delays emergency personnel from reaching those in need as quickly as possible. React how you would want others to if you were the one on the needing end of those emergency services.
  6. Slow down as you approach emergency vehicles on the side of the road, but don’t stop and gawk at the situation. It’s usually just someone getting a speeding ticket or a minor fender bender – nothing to write home about. But your brief pause to check things out delays traffic behind you and can cause a chain reaction that could result in a mile long back-up. Or even worse, your nosiness could cause you to not pay attention to those in front of you, creating another fender bender.
  7. Don’t think that it’s your responsibility to slow down speeders or teach other drivers a ‘lesson’. If you see someone driving irresponsibly, call the authorities and let them handle the offender rather than goad them and create a situation of road rage that could spiral out of control causing others injury.

Imagine how much better our commutes would be if everyone used these tips! So now that you know my driving pet-peeves, I want to hear yours! Or have other tips that I didn’t mention? Share them below! Maybe we’ll help the next generation of drivers improve. 😉

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5 thoughts on “Rules of the Road

  1. Oooh how about “When traveling along a frontage road that meets an off ramp lane, you are to yield to the traffic coming off the highway. They need the room to reduce speed without your help.” OR “When going through a roundabout, only the inner circle can go around or straight. The outer lane can only go straight through. If the driver in the outer lane tries to go around while the driver in the inner lane goes straight, they will cause an accident. If you don’t know how to use a roundabout, don’t use a roundabout.” 😛 love this lol.

  2. Good perspective; with some many vehicles on the road we really do need to help folks learn How to drive. Your post is a good start. Well done!

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