There was a time when we obeyed every law and knew every rule when we were studying for our permit and eventually going in for our driver’s license. Unfortunately, over the years we forget some rules or simply do not obey them out of convenience. Most of the things we do have been culturally accepted and do not seem to be a big deal, but they are illegal, and we want to prevent a ticket or serious injury to pedestrians and drivers.
As annoying as it is for someone to put their turn signal on well-before they need to turn, they are doing the right thing. The more you use your turn signal, the better! Most people do use their turn signals correctly, but we have all seen that person on the freeway that switches lanes without giving a notice to other drivers. You probably turn to one of your passengers and say, “that person is driving insane”. General rule: the more cars on the road, the more you should use your turn signal. It will only keep you and others safe.
Even if you are driving only five minutes away, please put on your seat belt. Seat belts have helped save millions of lives, so why not wear a seat belt. In a high velocity collision, you are almost certainly going to get seriously injured or worse. Police officers are not trying hassle you to get out more tickets per day, they are trying to provide you and others with safety. The same goes for car seats. Many car seats are frustrating to set up, but please take all the precautions as well as the time. Sometimes accidents happen, and it was not your fault in anyway. Be prepared.
We already wrote a blog post about distracted driving, but it deserves to be said again. Distracted driving is as bad a driving under the influence, but most people drive while doing something else in their vehicle. Daydreaming is actually more dangerous than texting while driving, but they are both relatively dangerous. Leave the texting to your passengers as well as any other things such as navigation, finding something that fell, and keeping you alert if you do daydream.
Not only is it rude, tailgating is actually illegal. The rule is that you must have at least three seconds behind the car in front of you, but in traffic, it is harder to obey these rules. Most people forget about the tailgating law because we all need to get to places. Keep in mind that the people in front of you can brake erratically or they may stop for a person jaywalking. Try to keep the distance so you can brake with enough time.
Cutting Across Solid White Lines & No-Passing Zones
We get that there may be a line before getting to your turn and you can easily skip it by crossing solid white lines, many people do cross them. However, you can be ticketed for this. Be patient and wait until the lane opens up to a turning lane or the line becomes dashed. The same goes for passing zone. Unfortunately, we have to legally wait in the same lane or switch over the left lane if there are not yellow-dashed lines. Again, you can be ticketed for violating this law.
Not Stopping for a School Bus
As long as it takes for a school bus to load and unload, you have to wait for it before you start moving again. Tickets for violating this law can go for several hundreds of dollars. It is the same as when a train is passing in front of you, you have to just wait it out. Pedestrian safety comes first.
Speeding is a learned habit. When we are new to driving, we tend to stick to the speed limit, but once we get more experienced with the routes we take, the more excitement we want, so we speed up “just a little more” than the speed limit. One of the most popular ways you get ticketed is by speeding. Going 5mph over the speed limit is not worth hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, do not drive too slowly because that can result in a ticket as well. These rules apply even more at a school zone and violations of school zone speed limits will be ticketed for more.
Drive for the Conditions of the Road
Although speed limits do not change the way the weather does, in severe weather, the way you drive should change to be even more cautious. Rain and snow make driving more dangerous than it already is. Put more space between you and the car in front of you and check your mirrors more often (5-8 seconds). Vision is a driver’s line of defense, so check every time you merge, turn, and switch lanes.
Stopping at Stop Sign/Lights
You must come to a complete stop on each of these. Rolling a stop can lead to a ticket and you might get into an accident with traffic in front of you. At a four-way intersection, know that you go in the order that you came in, but if a person is just driving passed your turn, let them pass. Your safety is not worth getting into an accident if you knew it could have been prevented by waiting. Be a “defensive” driver.
We hope that these rules are a fresh reminder for you and might encourage you to be a safer driver. Knowing the rules or at least being aware of them is all in good intentions and are meant to keep the lives of pedestrians, passengers, and drivers safe.