With an increasing part of our day spent driving and mostly in traffic, controlling temper and road rage is challenging to say the least. So what does it take to be a courteous driver?
1. Safety on the road
Whether you’re driving alone or with passengers on board, you are responsible for your safety and theirs. Respect the highway code, drive carefully and make sure that distractions are minimal. Make sure that you are not under the influence of alcohol and if in doubt, book a taxi.
Those riding with others, must control commenting on how the driver should be driving. There is nothing more annoying than having to listen to someone giving unsolicited advice – apart from the fact it can be very distracting.
3. Traffic lights
Red means stop – It means stop when it turns red not a second or two later. Trying to gain time by speeding after the light turns red is not only risky for yourself but for the oncoming traffic whose green light turned on.
Green means go – It means drive as soon as the green light is on and not 10 seconds later. Stay focused on the lights as taking your time to drive only delays other drivers and restricts the number of cars that move on from the lane during this short time, creating even longer lines.
Indicators are used to signal your intention to switch lane or turn a corner. It is a signal and does not automatically mean you have the right of way to do so as and when you please. Be patient, wait until it is safe to do so or wait until another driver gives way.
Driving too close to the car in front of you might get you in an accident if the car stops suddenly and you are slightly distracted. Leave enough distance to allow you to break in time.
6. The horn
Beeping the horn to indicate that you’re passing thinking that others should give way to you is wrong, disrespectful to residents and unnecessary. Use the horn when safety is at risk or to draw immediate attention when needed.
Nothing much you can do. Patiently drive with enough distance from the car in front of you and don’t drive past the long line of the traffic jam as soon as you see a hard shoulder or breakdown lane.
Driving too slow increases traffic and heightens temper. Driving too fast is a risk to your safety and others. Simply respect speed limits.
This is an easy one. Park in between the lines. Allow enough space for the cars at your left and right to be able to open their doors. Do not park in a space which was previously spotted by another. It’s not an “I’m faster than you” situation here.
Music or tuning in to a radio station can alleviate the stress from spending time in traffic. It is however courteous to keep the volume on the low side especially if the windows are down.