June 11, 2018
Author: Bianca Yang
__Traffic Laws__: I got tailgated yesterday while driving the speed limit. I wish people would understand that the speed limits are not suggestions. They are designed to reduce accidents and should be followed, under all circumstances. Realize that the efficiency of your car significantly drops if you go above 55 - 60mph. I don’t think the risk you take with your life that you incur by going 80, 90, 100mph on the highway is worth it.
Stop signs are not suggestions. Please, please, please, come to a full stop and look both sides before you proceed. One of my friends nearly died when a negligent driver cruised through a stop sign after only looking one way and crashed into the side of her car.
Turn signals are not a “do it when I feel like it” convention. Remind yourself that you are not the only person on the road. The other drives haven’t the slightest idea what you’re thinking. Could you please demonstrate the slightest courtesy to all the other drivers by giving them an indication of where you plan on going? Could you also take the extra second to look at your side mirror and at your blind spot before you initiate a lane change? Looking in your side mirror is not a convenience. Your blind spot is blind spot for a reason! Please watch for your safety and the safety of others. Every corner you cut off the traffic laws while on the road increases the likelihood of accidents and so many other complications on the roads we all share. Please get it straight in your head to be courteous and decent towards everybody else.
If you are making a right turn, please move into the bike lane. Also, please look in your side mirror to make sure there are no bikers coming up alongside you when you move over. If you are stopping on the right-most lane at a stop sign or light, please move to the left so people can make right turns.
You are not obligated by law to make a right on red.
You should stop before the crosswalk before moving into the crosswalk for right turns. This is so you can check for pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way.
You can make left turns on red from one-way streets onto one-way streets, assuming the directions line up.
Please stop shaming people for doing well on their written drivers tests. When did not caring about knowing the rules of a dangerous activity become the cool thing to do?
Please stop trying to seek the easy way out on your drivers’ test by going to “easy” counties. Driving test requirements are already very low. Please realize how salient and painful the consequences of bad driving are and help to establish a precedent of keeping our roads safe.
Do not ever trust your car to Autopilot or some similar automatic driving system. Driving is a dangerous activity, regardless of who is behind the wheel. There is not enough evidence that computers are actually better at driving than us. Please pay attention, for the sake of your life and for the sake of everybody’s else’s safety.
Turn on your lights when dusk hits, when it is foggy outside, when it is raining, when it is snowing, on windy roads, and before sunrise. Even if you can’t see better, everybody else who is around you will be able to see you better. I don’t know about you, but I think helping everybody else see you is a great way to prevent them from crasing into you.
Take care of your car. Your car is a machine that needs regular maintenance. Check your lights, your oil, your tires, your battery, etc. Also know how to deal with emergencies like flat tires. These things are simple and many situations can be dealt with just by paying attention to the signs and taking care of things when they first appear.
Develop spatial and performance awareness of your car. Learn how to park and get out of parking spots properly. Parking lots are a prime place for accidents because there are a lot of people and cars moving around in tight spaces and because most people park with the front of the car into the spot. Learning to reverse park can certainly help reduce the number of accidents because it’s easier to back into a space between stationary objects than it is to back into a space with moving objects. Develop a sense of the handling and acceleration of your car so you know how to handle tough road situations.
Build good habits! This is the most important. Write down a list of things you should do when driving and follow that routine. Check your seat, mirrors, your headlights, the AC, the music, etc. when you first get in the car. Try to reduce the number of minor things you need to deal with when on the road. When on the road, make sure to pay attention to the right things. Look out your mirrors every so often to check for people around you. Look out your side mirror and blind spot for people next to you or just behind you. Look out the back of your car when you back up so you can see what’s going on outside your car.
I don’t know when being safe became the lame thing to do, but driving is absolutely a playing where safety is of paramount importance. A lot of accidents can be prevented just by developing the right habits.