Driving Manners That Aren’t in the Law

초보운전연수 Whether driving the kids to practice, going to work or running errands, most of us spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel. Being a courteous driver not only reduces stress, it makes the road safer for everyone.


Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, shares some of the unwritten rules everyone should know about driving manners.

1. Be aware of your surroundings.

Driving is a dangerous activity that requires full concentration. Even if you’re familiar with your vehicle and the rules of the road, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings. This includes anticipating what other drivers might do. For example, if there’s a car speeding down the highway in front of you, it’s a safe bet that driver will try to pull into your lane. Anticipating this and adjusting your speed accordingly can prevent you from being rear-ended.

This is also why it’s a good idea to keep a car-span of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you at all times. Doing this can help prevent the need to slam on the brakes and may allow the other driver enough time to react, avoiding a collision.

Similarly, if someone lets you into traffic or gives way on a tight street, it’s courteous to give them a quick wave of acknowledgment to show your appreciation. Just remember to keep your waves contained and use hazard lights when necessary to avoid causing accidents.

2. Don’t tailgate.초보운전연수

Besides being annoying, tailgating can be dangerous. Being too close to the car in front of you limits your visibility, reduces the margin for reacting to hazards and makes a rear-end collision almost inevitable during emergency braking. A recommended safe following distance varies with speed but should not be less than three seconds. If driving conditions are bad or you’re following a heavy vehicle, increase this to four seconds.

Road rage is a common reason for tailgating, but sometimes it’s just out of habit. Even if you’re driving the speed limit, don’t tailgate the car in front of you – it can be frustrating for everyone involved and creates a stressful and unhappy drive for all.

If you find yourself being tailgated, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. It may be tempting to speed up to get away from the driver behind you, but this is likely to make matters worse and could lead to a crash. Instead, count to three when the rear bumper of the car in front passes a landmark on the road, such as a street sign or tree and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles at all times.

3. Don’t slam on your brakes.

There are plenty of rules that you need to learn and obey to drive safely, such as staying within the speed limit and using your turn signal before turning. But there are also driving manners that aren’t in the law and simply come down to common sense and decency. Here are some of the top unwritten rules of driving etiquette that Lifehacker readers shared with us.

While slamming on the brakes is sometimes unavoidable (such as when an animal runs in front of your car), it’s important to do so gradually. Not only is this good for your brakes, but it will help you maintain control of your vehicle.

Slamming on the brakes can cause your wheels to lock up, sending you into a skid and possibly leading to an accident. It’s also bad for the people in your vehicle, especially if they are sitting in the back seat. And it’s not just hard on your brakes—it can also lower your gas mileage by as much as 30%. So avoid slamming on your brakes as much as possible.

4. Don’t flash your headlights.

When drivers flash their headlights at you, it’s usually a sign of anger and frustration. This type of driving behavior is not only bad manners, but it can also cause a distraction that may result in an accident.

Some drivers use their headlights to signal other vehicles to go ahead of them, such as at a four-way stop. However, this method of communication is not always clear. There are also regional differences, so what may be a common practice in one area might mean something entirely different in another place.

Moreover, flashing your headlights is often perceived as a threat, especially in the US. For example, many people see posts on social media claiming that flashing your headlights is part of a Bloods gang initiation ritual, but these claims are false. Additionally, it can be dangerous for you to flash your headlights at other drivers, especially if the person behind you is going too fast. This is because the bright light can blind them and cause a collision. You can avoid this by using your turn signals, which are more effective for communicating your intentions to other drivers.

5. Don’t block traffic.

It’s a good idea to refresh yourself on the rules of driving etiquette from time to time. Some of these tips are actually laws, while others come down to common sense and human decency. Being courteous behind the wheel can not only make your drive a bit safer for everyone, but may also save you money on auto insurance.

It is impolite to block traffic at an intersection if you have a clear path to get into the other direction. It is also a good idea to check the law in your area before turning across oncoming traffic.

Another unwritten rule of highway driving is not to loiter in the left lane. This not only irritates people behind you, but it’s also illegal in some states. And finally, don’t use the shoulder to weave in and out of traffic. This is not only illegal in some states, but it blocks emergency vehicles from getting through traffic.