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General Road Etiquette

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By Madeline Klein on January 7, 2022 in Travel

Let’s admit it – sometimes we all forget general road etiquette. We’re here with a quick rule refresh so you can avoid making enemies on the road.

  • Left Lane – On many road trips you’ll find yourself on four-lane highways most of the time. This leaves you with two lanes to choose from – right or left. In several states such as, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, and more, it’s illegal to drive in the left lane when you’re not actively passing another vehicle. So, play it safe and stay in the right lane until it’s time to pass and only stay in the left lane for as long as it takes to completely pass the car, truck, or semi that’s slowing you down.
  • Brights – The technical name for these lights is “high beams”, but most people are more familiar with the term “brights”. While they come in handy driving on country roads at night, avoid using them when there’s oncoming traffic.
  • Crosswalks – Even if you don’t see any pedestrians, be sure to slow down at crosswalks. Pedestrians always have the right of way and sometimes they don’t look for cars before walking into the road – this means you must be that much more proactive to avoid accidents or injuries.
  • Zipper MergeThe zipper merge is the best way to keep traffic moving when one lane ends or is obstructed. Essentially, cars in the obstructed lane should take turns moving into the clear lane in between cars. This is most efficient because it keeps both lanes of traffic moving instead of people cutting in early and causing other cars to slow down or stop.
  • Turn Signal – Here’s a simple one. Don’t forget to use your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. This easy and painless step helps avoid countless accidents.
  • Stop Signs – Don’t worry. We know everyone understands you must fully stop your vehicle at stop signs. This little tip is for the order of proceeding through the 4-way stop. First thing’s first, the first vehicle to arrive is the first to leave. Otherwise, always yield to the right or straight traffic. It’s as easy as that.
  • The Wave – We’re not talking about the little dance – although we totally support busting a move. The wave we’re talking about is in your car. When someone lets you in or is nice to you on the road, throwing them a quick wave can show your appreciation.
  • Avoid Tailgating – Guess we’ll just throw all the no-brainers at you all at once. Tailgating is not only dangerous, but it tends to increase road rage in other drivers – and you never know what people will do. Just avoid it to be safe.
  • Highway Ramps – When merging onto the highway from a ramp, work on getting up to highway speed as quickly as possible. It can be very unsafe to merge going slower than traffic is moving. So, put the pedal to the metal and merge on in!

Moral of the story? Just follow the rules. You’ll end up safer and with far less road rage directed at you. Sounds like a win-win to us.

Madeline Klein is Say's Digital Content Producer. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her experience is in writing and digital media. Madeline loves using her creativity to write and design new and exciting pieces of work for Say!