The Unwritten Rules for Safe Driving

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October 19, 2022
Edward Smith

Unwritten Rules for Driving on the Highway

Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you fail to obey the rules of the road, the DMV can take your driving privilege away.

Traveling on the highway is one of the most challenging driving experiences due to more cars, higher speeds, and changing traffic conditions. Safe highway driving requires confidence in your abilities, communication with other drivers, and awareness of your surroundings.

The more experience you have, the better prepared you are for whatever traffic conditions you encounter on the highway.

Preparing for Safer Highway Driving 

The key to safer highway driving is preparation. If you plan to drive through an unfamiliar area, study the road and find the best time to travel. Driving and multitasking don’t go together, especially if you don’t know the area.

Traffic will typically worsen during rush hour in the morning and evening as people go and return home from work. You will want to avoid those times if possible.

Following These Unwritten Rules 

Driving on the highway is hazardous and should not be taken lightly. City and state officials created driving rules to increase road safety. However, some unwritten driving rules can help keep you and other drivers safe.

1. Be Considerate of Other Drivers

Treat other motorists as you wish to be treated. That is the golden rule of safe highway driving. We would see less road rage if more drivers obeyed this rule. If you see a car trying to change lanes, make adjustments to let them get into the lane. However, be sure not to worsen the situation by unnecessarily blocking traffic behind you. Being considerate on the road can greatly impact traffic flow and safety.

2. Keep Your Distance

Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Since highway driving is unforeseeable, you will need time to react to any changes. Keep at least two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front. Some drivers may use this space to change lanes during heavy traffic. If this happens, you will need to slow down to increase the distance between you and the new vehicle. It is not good to follow too closely or tailgate a car. If the driver brakes suddenly and you hit their car, it will be difficult to convince the police and your insurance company that it wasn’t your fault.

3. Pay Attention to the Road

When driving, focus entirely on the road and what’s happening around you. Keep your phone out of sight to limit distractions. No phone calls or text messages are worth endangering your life or the other drivers’ lives. If you must take a call or check your emails, find a safe place to park. Taking your eyes off the road and on your phone for even a second can cause a tragic accident.

4. Avoid Blind Spots

Cars have many blind spots that drivers can’t see despite having several mirrors and windows. Blind spots can be hazardous as drivers may not see you. When passing a car, do it quickly. Spend as little time as possible in any blind spots. Not all motorists are as attentive, so they may not see another vehicle in their blind spot. If you find yourself in a blind spot due to the natural flow of traffic, change your speed. Quickly speeding up or slowing down can get you out of the blind spot.

5. Use On-Ramps Properly

On-ramps allow drivers to get up to speed when entering a highway. Motorists entering a highway must yield to traffic already on the freeway and adjust their speed to enter safely. Traffic on the road should not have to slow down due to others entering.

When entering the highway, drivers should hit cruising speed. You don’t want to travel at 45 miles per hour while other vehicles blow past you at 70 miles per hour. Following this unwritten rule can keep you and others safe while entering the highway.

6. Don’t Wait Too Long to Change Lanes 

If you need to change lanes or be in a specific lane, do it as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last second to change lanes. Some drivers cross multiple traffic lanes because they waited too long. This behavior can be dangerous, especially if traffic flow is fast. Always change as soon as you can to avoid a risky situation.

7. Warn Other Drivers of Road Hazards

Do your best to warn other drivers if you come across a road hazard. Use your flashers or flash your lights at oncoming traffic to communicate with them. Warning others can help improve road safety and avoid a potentially serious accident. However, don’t flash your high-beam lights into oncoming cars. Doing so can temporarily blind them in the darkness.

8. Always Be Prepared

Always be prepared before heading out on the road. Keep emergency supplies, a spare tire, and a small tool bag in your car. You’ll want to have some resources just in case things go wrong because you’ll never know what can happen on the highway.

Keep warm clothes and blankets in your vehicle if you plan to drive in the snow or an area with frigid temperatures. On the other hand, keep several gallons of water in your car if you plan to go through the desert or area with extreme temperatures. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere without water, which can mean the difference between life and death.

Follow the Rules and Be a Good Driver 

Following these rules will help improve your driving. While there is no guarantee other motorists will drive safely and that you will always have a smooth ride, following these unwritten rules will give you a better shot.

Watch YouTube Video: Driving Etiquette. Unwritten rules of the roads. The video below provides more unwritten rules all drivers should be doing on the road.

Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Our law firm is here to help you and your family if you were seriously injured in an accident in Sacramento County. Call our legal team at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly case advice.

See how our injury attorneys have helped our clients obtain maximum compensation since 1982 by viewing our past Verdicts and Settlements page.

Photo by Aleksandr Popov on Unsplash

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