Everywhere on the roads exist signs of hazards, from the miles-long construction zones to the person in the left lane driving at top speed and weaving in and out of traffic trying to move through other lanes. The end result, most often, is an accident between two or more cars, or a car and a stationary object.
Common Courtesy Can Prevent Common Accidents
Can some car accidents be prevented? The simple answer is, of course, yes. By showing common courtesy both to people riding or driving in the same car and to others on the road, drivers and passengers can help not only to save others but themselves as well.
Common courtesies can include, but are not limited to:
- Stopping at all signs that are red and marked “STOP”. The signs are not there for decoration, and ignoring one can have disastrous consequences.
- Obeying traffic lights. Green is for go, red (again) for stop.
- Not honking the horn loudly at someone that is exercising an option not to turn right on red.
- Obeying all traffic signs, including but not limited to construction signs and advisory speeds.
- Use of a turn signal before and during, not just after, turning or moving from lane to lane.
- Not using cell phones to talk, tweet, or text while driving. The only notable exception is if the car has broken down and services need to be called. (Note: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s publishes a FAQ for safe phone use.)
- If acting as a passenger in a car, allow the driver to drive without distraction – and if acting as a driver, let the person in the passenger seat change the CD.
- Abstaining from alcohol when behind the wheel of a car – simply put, this means don’t drink and drive. Most restaurants that serve alcohol offer the free service of calling a cab or can provide patrons with a ride should they feel one is necessary.
- Following the posted speed limit. Again, this sign is not there for decoration or as a guideline.
- Checking the “blind spot” by looking over the left shoulder before changing lanes while driving. Again, the turn signal should be used in combination with this action.
- Following an appropriate distance behind the car in front, and not tailgating or riding another person’s bumper. Remember that in most states, if not all, rear-ending a car is always considered to be the fault of the driver in the rear car, not the front car.
- If driving at a slower speed, such as on a freeway or interstate, stay in the right lane and allow others to pass.
- Not playing games such as speeding and slowing erratically when someone attempts to pass.
Driving Is A Privilege, Not A Right
Above all, remember that driving and holding a license to operate a moving vehicle is considered a privilege, not a right. That privilege can and will be taken away should a person be found at fault for too many moving violations. Using common courtesy in conjunction with common sense will make the ride more pleasant – and safe – for all concerned on the roads.