In our society, there are laws and rules. Laws are those enforced by the police that we are certain to avoid breaking on a daily basis, aside from speeding when we’re late for work. Rules are a little less defined. While breaking a law can land you in jail or at least net you a hefty fine, rules aren’t the same. Break a rule and you may just be considered a jerk and you’ll get some dirty looks.
When it comes to driving this is the same. There are laws, such as the speed limits, the requirement of car insurance, and the necessity of a valid driver’s license. However, there are also a lot of rules and given recent events on the East coast, they’re being broken left and right.
In Pennsylvania, a young girl-fresh out of college-was brutally murdered on the road because she cut someone off. This is obviously an instance of the rules being taken far too seriously, and a major law being heinously broken in the process. However, it’s also a horrific example of how much those rules matter to some people and the cruel and appalling consequences that they believe are deserved. It speaks volume about how far out of control we’ve become on the roads.
Since awareness may help to prevent more detestable crimes like this from happening, it’s probably best that everyone knows at least some of the rules people are expected to follow on the road.
- Don’t Tailgate – It is tempting to follow closely to the car in front of us, especially when they’re in the wrong lane going the wrong speed. However, not tailgating is one of the rules and in a world where we aren’t very aware it’s a dangerous practice. Oddly enough, it’s also against the law but it is very rarely enforced by the police, so people continue to do it. Unfortunately, it’s not a good idea as it doesn’t allow us the proper amount of time to stop. The car in front of you should have at least three car lengths of space behind themselves. So back off. Riding their butt isn’t going to get you anywhere, any faster.
- Stay Out of the Left Lane – The left lane on the highway is for passing. This means that faster moving traffic is going to be traveling in that lane. This also means if you’re not moving faster than the cars to your right or you’re not passing anyone, you don’t belong in that lane. People are getting increasingly more passionate about this particular rule and perhaps to a dangerous extent. Are you in the left lane? Are people flying out around you to illegally pass in the lane to your right? You’re in the wrong lane. Move over.
- Move Over if You Can for Merging Traffic – When you see cars barreling down an entrance ramp, even though they’re required by law to yield, get over if you can. It will make the flow of traffic go a little bit more smoothly and no one will purposefully try to plow into your car because you did move. Some people, in the southern states especially, believe that this is a law and will just pull right out in front of you.
- Avoid Cut Offs – Cutting someone off is when they’re traveling at a consistent rate of speed in the same direction and you somehow get in the way of that. Most of the time when we cut someone off it is because we weren’t paying attention and then we have to do the awkward look down and not make any eye contact thing when they speed out around us. Avoid the awkwardness and just pay enough attention that you’re not cutting anyone off.
- Keep Your Eyes On The Road – How many times do we need to be told that we need to pay closer attention when we’re driving? Stop texting, don’t read the memo you should’ve finished overnight, and put your mascara on at home. Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds is insanely dangerous, especially on the highway so don’t.
It’s time for us to follow the rules of the road. Learn from past mistakes and keep yourself from being a victim of road rage. No big hurry or ego battle is worth your life.