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Driving Manners

Our cars are often one of those instigators of.

By
Adam Lowe,

Our cars are often one of those instigators of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior.  Sometimes perfectly lovely people become absolute monsters when they get behind the wheel of a car.  So here are a few tips to help keep Mr. (or Ms.) Hyde in the passenger seat as much as possible.

How to be a Polite Driver

First of all, prepare yourself mentally for the drive ahead.  Set your own inner expectations that there may be traffic and delays, and set yourself up with some good music or an interesting radio show (or podcast) to help prevent road rage.  If you feel that rage coming on, take a couple of deep breaths, and remind yourself that you can choose not to get upset.

Be kind to others on the road, including other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and tollbooth attendants.  Try to give others road space, let people in when merging, and wave to say thanks when someone does something nice for you.  Indicate your intentions on the road with turn signals and the like, and pay attention to the lane you are in.  On the highway, pass on the left, and stay to the right if other cars are traveling faster than you.  When you approach a slow merge, let the cars mix in like a shuffled deck of cards: a car from one lane followed by a car from the other lane.  If traffic is slow on an exit ramp, it is OK to merge as long as you are not crossing a solid line, but try not to cut everyone else off at the last moment. 

Car Safety and Manners

Your car horn is primarily a safety device, so use it with care.  You can indicate concern or send an alert to other drivers with a flash of your high beams, so use your horn sparingly.  And speaking of high beams, make sure to turn them off if there is traffic approaching from the opposite direction or if you are behind another car.
 

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