Driving in our roads is very challenging. Every day we see news about road rage and the most recent is the trending video of the “5-minute viral girl”. Road rage can be triggered by a lot of factors that we are facing individually. One factor is the personal issues which includes but not limits to using alcohol, drugs, having been into love quarrels, or simply experiencing immaturity and lack of patience.
Most of the time, drivers are triggered by annoying road situations such as traffic jam, slow vehicle progression, noise, and reckless jaywalkers. It really takes patience, understanding and attentiveness to be on the road.
Here are the five road courtesies Philkotse.com believes that you should practice to avoid being labelled as an irresponsible driver.
1. Stay in your lane
A champion among the most hazardous habits for drivers to engage in is the random and unnecessary way of lane advancing. Admit it, sometimes we think that by changing our lanes every time may reduce our travel time, right? Merging all through the lanes is a certain indication of a reckless and childish driver.
So when you feel that you are about to lose your patience, relax and focus to remain in your path, except if you have a wife on current labor on the back seat, and change lanes on the proper time and appropriate manner.
Unless you are in an emergency situation, it is best to always stay in your lane to avoid accidents
2. Keep away from distractions
Anything that takes your brain off the road can prompt an accident – eating chips or drinking soda, taking a call, texting, talking or having a fight with someone on the passenger or back seat, reaching your bag to get the payment for the toll fee, and more. Distractions does not limit on these things. Using mobile phones or eating while driving are the most common types of distractions.
Eating and using a mobile phone while driving are the most common types of distractions
There will be a lot of instances that someone will really trigger your stress hormones above your limits. My advice is to just let it be. Stay cool and avoid being distracted by your emotions; sometimes things like this happen. In this kind of situations, stress management is really important and one intervention is to listen to a happy music.
Music helps to relax our mind especially when driving, so it’s entirely OK to turn on the radio or play some music while you’re on the road. But how loud should you play your music while driving? Well, if the music or radio restricts you from hearing other necessary noise and warning signals, you better turn the volume down.
Do not let your emotions get the best of you while driving
3. Make use of your mirrors and signals all the time
Utilizing your turn signals tells other drivers your next move. When you turn abruptly without flicking your auto’s signal lights, drivers behind you may not notice your sudden movement and it could cause an accident.
Make it a habit to use your side and rear-view mirrors
Before you move to another lane, make a point to check your side and back view first simply to avoid collision. Make it a habit to avoid doing a sudden turn without warning, this is the common reason of fatal road accidents in the Philippines, and you don’t want that to happen to you right?
Give other drivers plenty of warning before turning or making a lane change and don't forget to adjust rear-view mirrors for a safe drive. Also, don’t be one of those drivers who has only a vague idea of how to use their blinkers when negotiating a roundabout. If in doubt, find out.
4. Maintain your safe distance
Aside from being an illegal road habit, tailgating is simply impolite and hazardous to you and every one of the autos in the vicinity. This practice is disrespectful and intimidating to all drivers on the road.
Keep in mind, different drivers have the same rights on the road and you should not feel intimidated in any way especially when you feel that they are occupying your space on the street.
Be patient and always maintain a safe distance when driving
How would you know if you are on the safe following distance? It is by doing the 3-seconds rule. To do it, you simply have to look for an object ahead of you, say a street sign or a pedestrian lane. When the car ahead of you passes thru it, start counting. If it needs 3 or more seconds for you to get to the same spot, then you are at a safe distance.
5. Practice safe speed and lighting
Most of the time, the road rage comes from the habits that actually we adopted on the road. One is over-speeding. When we were learning how to drive, it is one of the important reminders of your instructor.
But when you are on the road, you learned that this rule is most of the time neglected. Just a rule of thumb, if you are facing traffic, instead of over or under-speeding, it is best to just go with the traffic flow. This in return will give you and the other cars in the vicinity a safe destination.
Safe speed and proper lighting are both essential in safe driving
Another is the use of your car’s high beams. High beams are necessary when you are driving at night so you will be able to see the highway and avoid any potential dangers along the road.
However, when using your high beams upfront oncoming driver is extremely dangerous. This will blind the driver coming your way that may lead to accident. So if you see someone oncoming, switch off your high beam to avoid road blindness and accidents.
6. Final Say
Society, especially the drivers, must acknowledge that terrible road conduct and selfish behavior are the leading reasons for road collision. I know it is hard to do, but true enough, discipline, courtesy and unselfishness will leave a great impact in the safety of our roads and as a driver yourself.
Courtesies on the road should involve acknowledging and tolerating few accountabilities of your fellow driver’s actions. Nothing is resolved with strict assertiveness and being proud. It is about the “give-and-take” relationship on the road or simply making adjustments and being forgiving that will benefit everyone.
Practice safe driving with these 5 road courtesies
These are just some of the driving etiquettes that you should know to become a responsible driver. You may want to revisit your Driver’s handbook and manual to refresh your competencies as a responsible driver and to unlearn what you have acquired on the road (which you shouldn’t). Also, education on stress management will really help in tolerating and overcoming the challenges in our roads as to avoid road accidents as well.
>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for your safe driving