Regardless of whether you’ve been driving for years or you’re a new driver, the evolution of traffic laws and etiquette can sometimes be confusing. Traffic laws not only vary from state to state, but often vary in neighboring municipalities. However, there are certain habits that you can avoid across the board to ensure that you’re driving safely and legally.
1. Using Your Cell Phone While Driving
With the recognition of the danger of distracted driving on the rise, it’s important to follow one simple rule to ensure your focus remains on the road: Don’t use your cell phone while operating a moving vehicle. As tempting as it may be to respond to a text or answer a phone call, get in the habit of putting your phone in airplane mode before you turn the key.
2. With Headphones On
Not only is driving with your headphones on illegal in most states, it’s also very dangerous. Covering your ears and listening to music or your favorite podcast is not only distracting, but you’re also blocking out important noises. Emergency vehicle sirens, railroad-crossing alarms, and car horns are designed to alert you to danger, but they won’t work if you can’t hear them.
3. Changing Lanes Without Signaling
Regardless of whether you’re in heavy traffic or the only person on the road, it’s important to always follow the law and signal to other drivers when you’re changing lanes or preparing to make a turn. Get in the habit of always using your turn signals when appropriate.
Although it can be tempting to go over the posted speed limit, especially if you’re running late for an appointment, you should always follow the law. Studies show that high speeds account for increases in the likelihood of a crash and fatalities, so why take the chance?
5. Tailgating or Riding Bumpers
Not only can tailing other drivers result in a ticket, but it’s also highly dangerous and annoying to others on the road. In the same way you adjust your speed to road conditions, you should also adjust the space you leave between vehicles when driving.
Higher speeds on the highway or adverse weather conditions should also be taken into consideration. Leave a reasonable and safe distance between you and other drivers. Tailgating is also a sign of road rage. Just ask the attorneys at Easton & Easton.
Bonus: Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Although it’s a habit that 90 percent of people practice without a second thought, at least 27 million Americans don’t always wear a seatbelt. Statistics show that seatbelts save thousands of lives every year, which makes wearing one a lifesaving habit.
Before ever putting the car into reverse or drive, make sure that everyone in your car is properly buckled up. Failing to do so could cost you or any of your passengers their life. While it might be uncomfortable or an inconvenience, choosing not to wear one isn’t worth the risk.