Driving is not rocket science. It really isn't difficult at all. I'll never cease to be amazed at the sheer number of drivers who simply choose not to drive safely. Selfish drivers are probably the number one cause of non alcohol-related accidents, and all because people can't remember a few simple guidelines.

Here they are:

  1. Use your turn signals

    Turn signals are not merely there for convenience. They are a safety device. You should use the proper turn signals whenever you change lanes and before making a right or left turn. Please also take care to make sure that you don't leave your turn signal on after completing a maneuver -- this not only confuses other drivers, it makes you look stupid.

  2. Remember: The speed limit is a suggestion

    One of the most common misconceptions is that speed limits are laws. They are not. The speed limit is a suggested safe cruising speed for traffic. You should make an effort never to drive slower than the flow of traffic. If there are other cars on the road, match your speed with theirs, even if they are all speeding. Differences in speed cause far more accidents than speed itself.

    You can be ticketed for exceeding the speed of traffic around you and for going slower than the traffic around you. Both are equally dangerous.

  3. Drive in the right lane

    Most states in the US have specific traffic laws which specify that the leftmost lane of a multi-lane road may only be used for passing and making left turns. Do not cruise in the left lane. This is not only rude, but often illegal.

    Travel in the right lane. If you need to pass someone, pass them in the left lane and then get back in the right lane. This helps keep traffic flowing at a good pace and also increases safety, since people who want to go fast don't need to dart dangerously in and out between other cars.

  4. Be aware of your surroundings

    Make a habit of checking both your rear and sideview mirrors every ten seconds or so. Keep an image in your head of where the other cars are around you. Keep tabs especially on cars in your blind spots.

    If you have to make an emergency evasive maneuver for some reason, you won't have time to check your mirrors. If you already know where the other cars are, then you'll be able to react much quicker and much more safely, and hopefully avoid causing an accident.

  5. Put yourself in the other guy's shoes

    Try to be courteous to the other drivers on the road. Remember your manners. Before you cut someone off to catch your exit, think about how mad you got last time someone cut you off. If you're on a curvy road with no passing lane and the car behind you obviously wants to go faster than you're going, pull off at a safe place and let them pass. If you're approaching a merge, leave space for at least one car to merge in front of you -- this is not only safe, it will keep traffic moving.

    In general, just try to imagine how you would feel if you were the other guy. Or imagine that the other guy is a friend of yours and you don't want to be impolite.

  6. Be predictable

    If other drivers are able to predict what you're going to do, then they'll be able to adjust accordingly. Don't make sudden lane changes or fluctuate your speed. Predictability equals safety.


When merging, do not pass. Do not pass. This cannot be over-emphasized. Signal, slow down, move over, or stay put if you are in the static lane. Do not accelerate past drivers in the static lane if you are in the merging lane. Do not accelerate past drivers attempting to merge if you are in the static lane, unless you are sure that they should merge behind you due to speed differences.

Read the lane-control signs, fool. It is mathematically proveable that your ignoring the sign that says "LEFT LANE ENDS 500 FT" can delay some fifty cars behind you several minutes. Ever wonder why traffic is backed up at interchanges and when exiting towns in busy traffic? It's because idiots (possibly you) ignored the sign and failed to move over and remain with the flow of traffic. The real bottleneck occurs when several people have already done this, so the static lane is stopped or very slow. Idiots then change into the ending lane (blatantly ignoring the sign), accelerate to where the lane actually disappears, and join the line of other idiots waiting to get into the static lane. Your two seconds of driving at a fast 30 mph didn't help you; in fact, they delayed everyone else by almost a minute. When twenty idiots do this, we're all very late.

Do not stop at a light in the center lane and then suddenly decide you need to make a left turn. Everyone hates a sideways car in the middle of the road. Not only are you being laughed at, but other idiots will try to drive around you and could cause accidents. Proceed to the next turn bay and make a U-turn.

Yellow light means "STOP". Yellow arrow also means "STOP". Do not accelerate through yellow lights. Do not begin your turn when the arrow is yellow. The reasons should be obvious. If you cause an accident, you will be liable.

During periods of heavy traffic, do not proceed through an intersection unless there is room for your vehicle in the road past the intersection. Otherwise, the light will turn red, you will be stuck in the middle of the intersection, and the cross-traffic will be unable to move. You want to piss off other drivers? This is the sure-fire method.

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