Driving Manners – Keeping Yourself and Others Safe

Whether you’re driving the kids to school, running errands, or just taking a leisurely drive, using common courtesy will help keep you and others safe.


Drivers have a variety of unwritten etiquette they adhere to, such as giving pedestrians the right of way and using turn signals regularly when changing lanes. These little things can save lives.

Be Prepared

Whether it’s snow, rain, hail or the sun shining through the windshield, different seasons present driving challenges. While these weather conditions can make it difficult to operate a vehicle, there are several things you can do to keep yourself safe while driving.

One way to be prepared is to set your schedule and leave enough time to reach your destination safely. This means setting aside time for food, rest breaks, phone calls and other necessary stops. It also means making sure you have a safe escape route in case of emergency.

When you’re driving, stay focused and avoid distractions. Distracted driving can cause crashes, injuries and deaths.

Be aware of the other drivers and roadway users around you, so you can anticipate their sudden behavior and adjust accordingly. This may mean slowing down or speeding up to avoid a collision, or it could mean moving into another lane so you have room to pass another vehicle.

Use the two-second rule to create a “space cushion” when you’re following another vehicle, or even a pedestrian, on the road. Select a stationary object in the road ahead and count slowly, “one thousand one, one thousand two.” If you reach that object before you finish your count, you are following too closely.

If you are following a large vehicle, such as a truck or bus, increase the count to three or four seconds. Creating a space cushion helps you avoid potential collisions and can prevent road rage.

Similarly, when you’re traveling on busy streets, use the far left lane for passing and only the center lane for a safe exit. Do not ignore traffic signals and signs on side roads.

You can also use the far right lane for passing and exiting only when you are sure that there is adequate lane space for the turn or exit. This will help prevent rear-end collisions that can happen when drivers get too close to each other.

It’s also a good idea to have a safety kit in your car, which should include blankets, water, food, medications and other essentials that you can use if you get stuck on the side of the road. It’s also a good idea to carry a flashlight and a cell phone in case you need to call for help.

Be Polite

Taking the time to be polite can make a world of difference when it comes to driving. It can help cheer up those around you, prevent other drivers from seeing red and generally make driving a much more pleasant experience.

Be courteous to others on the road and be kind when it comes to other traffic situations such as car parks, zebra crossings and roundabouts. This will keep everyone safe and also reduce traffic congestion by making sure that everyone is able to get around as quickly as possible.

Always signal your intentions before you change lanes, especially in a busy area or when there are multiple lanes of traffic in the same direction. This will ensure that other drivers know when you are changing lanes and can plan their own routes accordingly.

When another driver lets you into their lane or gives you space to turn, it is often very polite to offer a quick hand signal or thumbs up so that they know you appreciate their kind gesture. This can encourage them to be as lenient to other drivers in the future, which is something all motorists should strive to do.

It is important to remember that many drivers are simply not aware of a few simple etiquette rules. One of these is that flashing your lights to say thank you to a driver who has given way or let you out of the way is illegal, which can land you with a fine and points on your licence.

If you are caught flashing your lights to give thanks to a driver who has given you the right of way, you can face an unlimited fine and up to nine points on your licence. This is a common practice among drivers, but it can be dangerous and could even lead to an accident or worse.

Being a courteous driver is not easy, but it will be worth the effort in the long run. It will make a big difference to your day on the road and will ensure that you are less stressed out, which can improve your health and your relationships. Having a bit of courtesy can also mean that you are more fuel-efficient when you are on the road, which is always a good thing.

Be Respectful

Whether you’re driving to the store or on a road trip, being respectful of other drivers is important. The right manners can make all the difference between being an excellent driver and a dangerous one.

According to Emily Post, the etiquette expert who has taught a number of seminars on driving etiquette, there are many ways you can show respect while behind the wheel. Among them are keeping your hands to yourself, leaving your trash in someone else’s car and driving responsibly to ensure that everyone gets where they need to go safely.

You should also avoid honking your horn and other annoyances that can interfere with other people’s drive or cause traffic problems. Honking is not only rude to others, it’s a violation of traffic laws and can even get you into trouble.

Be sure to respect the right of way of other vehicles, especially if you are in a hurry or stuck in a traffic jam. It’s important to follow a safe following distance of at least three seconds so you can see other cars on the road ahead of you.

Always keep your head up and be alert when driving so you can spot hazards or potential risks. You can do this by using your directional signal, paying attention to your speed and avoiding distractions like cell phone use, music and watching your eyes.

If you’re in a funeral procession, it’s courteous to pull over and let them pass you. Doing so will not only help the departed souls reach their final resting place, but it will also ensure that all drivers in the procession can do so without causing any issues.

It is also a good idea to give a wave or a flash of your rear indicators if someone is giving you the space you need. This will show them that you appreciate their kindness and encourage them to continue to offer you space in the future.

Lastly, be respectful to the police officer that pulled you over if you are given a ticket. It’s not fair to be angry at them for writing you a ticket and it doesn’t serve any purpose to argue with them. Thank them for their time and let them know that you understand the importance of getting your ticket corrected before it goes on your record.

Be Safe

Driving is a vital part of many people’s lives, whether you are going to work or school, running errands or just getting around town. However, driving is also one of the riskiest things you do everyday. More than 36,000 people die in car crashes every year, and millions are injured.

The good news is that you can make your driving experience safer by following some simple rules. These are called “driving manners” and can help you avoid the most common types of accidents that occur on the road.

1. Be Safe

Safety is always your first priority, regardless of the situation you are in. Being safe means being aware and prepared for whatever happens. It also means being willing to take action, instead of putting your fate in other people’s hands.

2. Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver

Speeding, aggressive driving and not paying attention to the road are all bad driving habits that can lead to accidents. Being a safe driver puts you in the best position to deal with the reckless or aggressive drivers around you and prevents accidents.

3. Follow the 3-second rule

Keeping a safe distance from cars in front of you is essential for safety. To find this distance, start counting the number of seconds between a vehicle ahead of you and a lamppost or similar stationary object on the side of the road.

4. Use your turn signal

Across the country, improper or neglected turn signals cause 2 million traffic accidents annually. So, always signal your intentions with your turn signals and do a shoulder check to ensure that no one is in your blind spot.

5. Be Careful near Bus Stops and School Streets

School bus safety is another important issue that drivers should be aware of. A crash between a bus and a car that is coming too closely behind it can be fatal. Therefore, drivers should prepare to slow down and come to a complete stop when a school bus is slowing or flashing its overhead yellow lights.

6. Be Alert to Changes in Traffic Patterns and Work Zones

Truck and bus drivers face special safety challenges on the road. Large trucks and buses need more time to accelerate, brake, and maneuver. They may also have more weight and need extra space for wide turns.