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What Happened to How We Drive?

It seems these days that driving on the roads is more like a competition. A simple drive to the store has become a stressful undertaking as many drivers just don’t care about anyone else. Put many behind the wheel and they become impatient, rude, and discourteous; it seems as though no one cares. Basic driving rules are ignored and not enforced. Here are a few examples:

  • Use your turn signal. Whether making a turn or changing lanes you are required by law to let other drivers know what your intention are. The simple use of turn signals alone would prevent many accidents including rear end collisions (which some mistakenly feel are unavoidable).
  • Don’t tailgate or follow too closely.  This is probably the most violated driving offense and the cause of most vehicle accidents. Do you remember the 2-Second Rule? Watch as the vehicle in front of you passes a fixed object, then count off two seconds. If you reach the fixed object before two seconds, you are following too closely. True Cam laser systems are now being used by law enforcement to issue tickets for following too closely. Because of the reliability of True Cam technology, your odds of successfully fighting this ticket in court are slim. Keep space around your vehicle.
  • Turn your headlights on. Whether is rainy, foggy or the sun is just about to set, it is amazing how many drivers simply do not turn on their headlights. Make yourself more visible and increase your odds of not being in an accident, even during the day. You will be amazed how many vehicles that would normally pull out in front of you hesitate and don’t do so simply because they see your lights on during the day. This is why Daytime Running Lights have become so popular in the auto industry.
  • It’s against the law to drive with your emergency flashers on. You may think that you are doing everyone a favor, especially while driving in a heavy rain, but actually you are doing the opposite. Having you flashers on while driving (especially at night or in a heavy rain) creates the illusion that your vehicle is stopped, as most drivers assume that if you have your emergency flashers on that your car is disabled.
  • U-turn right of way. A driver making a U-turn that has a green traffic signal has the right of way in making that U-Turn (unless otherwise posted). Drivers attempting to turn right on red must stop and yield to the car making the U-Turn…
  • Your license plate must be visible. If you have an attached “cargo carrier” (the device that is attached to the back of your car that is hard to see at night) and you have it loaded so that the license plate can not be seen, this is a violation. Keep in mind that the first thing law enforcement does before stopping a vehicle is to run the tag number. If they can not see a tag number, this put law enforcement at risk.

Just think how many vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities could be prevented if more people complied with the first two points alone. Do your part by getting back into the habit of using all of these simple rules and perhaps more folks will follow that same trend. And one more thing… put your phone down and drive. Just drive.