As we assume the helm of our vehicles, we shoulder the immense responsibility for our own well-being and that of fellow travelers. Tragically, a host of fatal errors are perpetrated by drivers day in and day out, errors that have the potential to unleash a torrent of catastrophic accidents, debilitating injuries, and, in the most heartbreaking instances, loss of life.

Recently, a user asked on a popular forum what’s an unwritten rule about the road that new drivers should know? and here are the top answers:

1. Relying Solely On Turn Signals 

Close up shot of the turn signal button in a car.
Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“YES! See a right turn signal? Don’t just pull out in front of them thinking, “oh, they are turning right,” even though they are still going 45mph.. Look for other signs, like slowing down and their car pulling a bit to the right. Don’t just trust it!” said one.

“Also, don’t trust the absence of a turn signal,” another added. “Assume that a car with a signal on might go straight. Assume that a car without one might turn.” said another.

2. Not Keeping A Clear Escape Route

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This means being aware of your surroundings and positioning yourself in a way that allows you to quickly and safely avoid potential hazards or accidents while driving.

“My mom taught me this as we lived near a rough neighborhood. Keep enough space between you and the car in front for you to get out of there.” a user said.

“Yes! Especially in a sketchy neighborhood. Leave enough room ahead of your car that you can swerve around the car ahead of you and race off if need be.” another said.

“Enough room might not save you from a crash, but it will give you more time to react and, most importantly, options for how to react. From personal experience choosing between a tree and another car, I’ll never know which would’ve been better, but I had choices!” said another.

3. Cutting Corners While Driving 

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Driving safely involves taking turns properly and avoiding the urge to cut corners. Cutting corners can increase the risk of head-on collisions and endanger the safety of yourself and others on the road.

“Don’t cut corners. I’ve nearly had a head-on collision because people can’t just slow down a little and turn into the lane properly.” a Redditor said.

“This and if you’re on the outside of a double turn lane, turn WIIIIDE, so the inner turn lane doesn’t have to crash into the median or you to make their turn.” another added.

“This is especially bad for us motorcyclists, particularly if the corner-cutting driver doesn’t see us. Please stay on your side of the turn for the entire corner, it will save everyone a lot of hassles, stress, and potentially pain.” another added.

4. Unaware of Your Surroundings 

Woman put her head out the car window and gesturing with his hands.
Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Maintaining situational awareness while driving is crucial for making safe decisions on the road. Understanding the cars behind and next to you can help prevent sudden lane changes and avoid accidents.

“Always know what’s around you! Know what cars are behind you or in the lane next to you. That way, if you feel you have to change lanes quickly, you know whether you can or can’t.” said one.

“On the road, there are FIVE people you need to be aware of at all times: the guy in front of you, the guy behind you, the guy directly to your right, the guy directly to your left, and the guy that comes out of nowhere.” said another.

5. Driving Unpredictably 

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“Don’t be nice, be predictable. This means, ” Don’t slam on your brakes to let someone else go; drive predictably.” a user said.

“My mom got into a terrible accident because someone was trying to be nice and waving her on to turn when they should’ve gone, and someone behind them went around and crashed into my mom, who finally just decided to turn because the guy was being too nice.” another said.

6. Not Actively Driving

Young beautiful businesswoman sending a text message using mobile phone while driving car to work. Risky, reckless driver bad habits. Traffic safety rule violation lack of attention concept
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Merging onto highways or interstates requires active driving and awareness of the surrounding traffic. Matching the traffic speed and finding an open slot is safer than slowing down and waiting for a large gap.

“Merging onto a highway/interstate should be a very active process. Try to match the speed of traffic and fit into an open slot. Don’t slow down to a crawl and wait for a wide berth.” a Redditor said.

“I see way too many people do this stupid slowing down. The only thing that tilts me on the road.” another added.

7. Not Following Proper Procedure At Four-Way Stops 

close up crosswalk surrounded by commercial buildings in Tokyo station taken in Japan on 4 December 2016
Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Following a proper procedure at four-way stops is crucial for ensuring a safe and efficient traffic flow. Allowing others to go out of turn can disrupt the established sequence and increase the risk of accidents.

“If it’s your turn to go at a four-way stop, then go. None of this, “waved the other guy through,”. You’re messing up the sequence.” said one.

“I also hate when someone doesn’t have a stop sign, but I do, and they think they’re being nice by waving me through. Like, no sir, you don’t have a stop sign, and I ain’t risking an accident cause you wanna be nice.” another said.

8. Getting Angry When Cut Off By Other Drivers

Really?! Cute shocked brown haired lady is amazed with wide open eyes, mouth, holding head, in formal wear, on light grey background, wondering what happened, looking confused, lost
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“If people cut you off, let them go. Don’t push it!” said one. “My saying is that the laws of physics don’t care about the right of way. Don’t compete with the jerks on the road because if you do, then everyone loses.” another added.

9. Ignoring Flashing Headlights While Driving

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“If someone flashes their lights towards you, check in the following order:

Your lights. Are your headlights off when they should be on? Are your high beams on when they should be off?

Hazards on the road, including but not limited to police, fallen objects, police, accident, police, animals, police, etc

If everything else seems okay and people keep flashing their lights at you, something could be wrong with your car. Your hood may be unlatched, the door not closed properly, something stuck in the door, or a piece of bodywork is a loose, flat tire. Find a nearest SAFE PLACE TO STOP and give your car a once-over.” a user shared.

10. Relying On Other People’s Decision 

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It is essential to double-check for safety, even when directed by an official. Please don’t assume they can see everything and take a moment to assess the situation yourself before proceeding.

“Always ignore other drivers or bicyclists when they wave you on to pass, or to go through an intersection, or merge, whatever You cannot trust them to see everything; you have to look if it’s safe with your own eyes. Even if someone official waves you on, do a quick check. ” said one.

What are your thoughts on these tips? Do you have any additional information to share for safe driving?

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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