For some drivers, what would it take…
Where ever I go I often get asked driving advice. People want the little bits of information that will either prove to them they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, or advice to help them with things they never really knew. Often the purpose of my articles is to inform drivers of both of those things, so I don’t mind. Sometimes, it’s about the driver who never really gave certain things any thought. So with that in mind, here are a few things for you to think about the next time you’re driving.
What would it take for you wave thank you after another driver did something nice for you? Many drivers will often reduce speed to let you change lanes in front of them. Once you get fully into that new lane, use your right hand to give a wave. The right hand can be seen through the rear window as you wave and that will show the driver behind you that you appreciated their kindness. Think about how you feel when another driver doesn’t acknowledge your act of kindness and how satisfied you feel when someone waves thanks to you. Do unto others…
What would it take to signal your lane changes and turns? Communicating is huge within our society, so take that mentality and bring it into the vehicle with you. Letting other road users know why you’re slowing down helps to keep them calm until you make that turn. Signaling before making the lane change actually helps the other drivers know what you’re doing that they could help you make the change by slowing down to give you room. If you don’t signal how would they know you wanted to move over?
What would it take to move over to allow cyclists a clear path as opposed to trying to squeeze between them and the other lane of traffic? Cyclists are vehicles of the road and they should be treated as such. Giving them a full lane early will allow the driver behind you a better chance to see them before they get too close. This is especially important if there are no bicycle lanes. Just because some cyclists ride carelessly doesn’t mean you should give them a difficult time. Think of each cyclist you come to as a member of your own family and you want to protect them.
What would it take to come to a full stop at stop signs? Most drivers slow down enough so they “won’t get a ticket” but is that good enough? Those drivers aren’t thinking about stopping – they’re thinking about going. If that’s the case, they won’t be looking for pedestrians, cyclists or other drivers approaching the intersection. That’s a recipe for a collision and most certainly injuries or worse. Come to a full stop, look to see if it’s clear to precede. This would make it easier to spot and solve any problems you may see before entering the intersection.
What would it take for you to adjust speed in poor conditions? Those driving conditions are not ideal, so why drive like they are? Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, so if the road has reduced traction or reduced visibility…your speed should also be reduced. This would give you more time to see, think and respond to problems you may encounter. Make sense?
What would it take to have you make these changes to your driving style? Some thought before the action? More respect for other road users? More respect for yourself? It’s never too late to be a safer driver. You just have to want to do it.