On the road, in parking lots, and in garages, there are a few driving rules that are often overlooked by drivers. In case you need to brush up on a few rules or just want to make sure you are following them accordingly, here are a few rules to live by.
Drivers in roundabouts must always use their indicators, except for when they’re driving ahead. When leaving a roundabout, always indicate if you’re turning left. However, if it’s a small, single lane roundabout, this may not be necessary.
When turning right or making a U-turn, you should also indicate the direction you’re going. Roundabouts are more accommodating than U-turns, but if you must make a legal U-turn, have a clear view of approaching traffic before proceeding to turn around. You should also give way to all vehicles and any pedestrians who may be crossing.
Pedestrians always have the right of way. If you are turning left or right at an intersection, you should allow the pedestrian to cross before entering the lane. This rule applies to intersections with and without traffic lights.
This may not apply in roundabouts, but it’s best to try to yield for pedestrian traffic. This is especially important in school zones—there are often signs with times listed for when to expect heavy pedestrian traffic, and they should be followed closely.
When entering or exiting a lane, you may need to merge around other vehicles. If you are traveling in one lane that’s ending, give way to any vehicle already ahead. Remember, try to stay at least three seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. In poor conditions, such as gravel roads or dim lighting, or extreme weather, it may help to increase traveling distance to reduce your chances of colliding with another vehicle.
Keeping a close distance or attempting to speed ahead of another vehicle can be problematic by causing a bottleneck (slow or congested traffic) or an accident. Vehicles travelling more than 80 mph should remain in the left lane unless they’re overtaking, avoiding an obstacle, or giving room to another vehicle on the side of the road.
You should only use your phone when it is mounted in a way that doesn’t obstruct your view of the road or with Bluetooth technology. If you must send a text, take a picture, look down, or talk, do so when pulled over. Checking your phone at stop lights or while driving can be a bigger hindrance than it seems. If you must use your phone, have a passenger help you until you can park or shut off your engine. In case of an accident, it’s easier to recall details when you give the road your full attention.
High beams are best used sparingly. High beams can make it harder for other drivers to see. If traveling less than a mile behind another car, avoid using high beams. It’s also an offence to flash headlights unless you are responding to an emergency. Also, be sure to only use your fog lights when driving in foggy or misty conditions.
Think you or someone you know is in need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is an Egg Harbor City driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.
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