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What Are Some Unwritten Rules That New Drivers Should Know?

What Are Some Unwritten Rules That New Drivers Should Know?As a new driver, you may be excited to hit the road and experience the freedom that comes with driving. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are unwritten rules of the road that you should be aware of.

These rules are not taught in driver's education classes, but they are just as important as the laws that are.  By following these rules, you can avoid accidents and stay safe on the road.

  1. Don't hog the left lane

The left lane is known as the passing lane, and it's intended for drivers who want to pass slower vehicles. If you're driving in the left lane and you're not passing anyone, you're hogging the lane. This can cause frustration for other drivers and even lead to road rage. So, if you're not passing anyone, move over to the right lane.

  1. Use your turn signals

Using your turn signals is not only a legal requirement but also an unwritten rule of the road. It's a simple way to communicate with other drivers and let them know your intentions. Whether you're changing lanes or turning at an intersection, always use your turn signals.

  1. Don't tailgate

Tailgating is when you follow another vehicle too closely. This is dangerous because it reduces your reaction time if the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops or slows down. To avoid tailgating, maintain a safe following distance. The general rule is to keep at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour you're traveling, but you should increase that distance based on the stopping distance of your particular vehicle and weather conditions.

  1. Yield to pedestrians

Pedestrians always have the right of way. As a driver, it's your responsibility to yield to them, whether they're crossing at a crosswalk or jaywalking. Always be on the lookout for pedestrians and be prepared to stop if necessary.

  1. Be courteous

Driving can be stressful, but it's important to remain courteous on the road. This means using your manners, such as saying "please" and "thank you" when appropriate. It also means letting other drivers merge into your lane or giving them the right of way when necessary. Being courteous can go a long way in preventing road rage and promoting safe driving.

  1. Don't block intersections

Blocking an intersection is illegal, but it's also an unwritten rule of the road to avoid doing so. If you're stopped at a red light and there's not enough room for you to clear the intersection when the light turns green, wait until there is enough space before proceeding. Blocking the intersection can cause traffic congestion and increase the risk of accidents.

  1. Stay focused

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. As a new driver, it's important to stay focused on the road at all times. This means avoiding distractions such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over to a safe location first.

  1. Watch your speed

Speeding is not only dangerous but also illegal. It's important to obey the posted speed limit and adjust your speed based on the conditions of the road. For example, if it's raining or snowing, you should slow down to ensure you have enough time to stop if necessary.

  1. Don't drive impaired

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous. It impairs your judgment, reaction time, and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents. If you've been drinking or taking drugs, don't get behind the wheel. Instead, find a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service.

  1. Always wear your seatbelt

Wearing your seatbelt is not only a legal requirement but also a vital safety measure. It can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of an accident. As a new driver, make it a habit to buckle up before starting the engine.

  1. Don't drive aggressively

Aggressive driving includes behaviors such as tailgating, speeding, cutting off other drivers, and running red lights. It's important to avoid aggressive driving because it can lead to accidents and endanger the lives of other road users. Instead, practice defensive driving by staying aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards.

  1. Check your blind spots

Blind spots are areas around your vehicle that you can't see from your mirrors. It's important to check your blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn. One way to do this is by looking over your shoulder to ensure there are no vehicles or pedestrians in your blind spots.

  1. Keep a safe distance from large vehicles

Large vehicles such as buses, trucks, and trailers have larger blind spots and require more time and space to maneuver. As a new driver, it's important to keep a safe distance from these vehicles and avoid cutting them off. If you're driving behind a large vehicle, leave enough space to ensure you have a clear view of the road ahead.

  1. Use your headlights

Using your headlights is not only a legal requirement but also an important safety measure. It can improve your visibility in low light conditions and make it easier for other drivers to see you. Make sure your headlights are working properly and use them whenever necessary, such as during rain or fog.

  1. Keep your vehicle maintained

Regular vehicle maintenance is important for ensuring your vehicle is safe and reliable. As a new driver, make sure to schedule regular maintenance appointments, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. Additionally, check your vehicle's fluids and tire pressure regularly to ensure they are at the recommended levels.

There are many unwritten rules of the road that new drivers should be aware of. By following these rules, you can avoid accidents and stay safe on the road. Remember to use your turn signals, yield to pedestrians, be courteous, stay focused, watch your speed, avoid aggressive driving, check your blind spots, keep a safe distance from large vehicles, use your headlights, and keep your vehicle maintained. As you gain more experience on the road, these rules will become second nature, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a safe and responsible driver.

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Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.