By: Abby Junkvorian – Aug. 2019
Almost every time I drive, I become increasingly more and more nervous and cautious of the motorized world around me. After recently receiving my license, I have become acutely more aware of how truly recklessly and dangerously people are driving. I thought that as a new driver who recently participated in drivers etiquette, I would share some tips and tricks to make everyone feel safe(r) on the road.
1) Use your blinker! The simple and effortless gesture is a really big help when on the road. So many people don’t use one to give the driver behind them enough time to assess the situation and prepare accordingly or they just plainly don’t use one at all – which is completely maddening. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to slam on my brakes when the person in front of me makes a sudden or unwarned turn.
2) Keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you. It is honestly really nerve wracking as a new driver when someone is riding your bumper your whole ride home. As someone who knows how often police are lurking around my town watching for speeding cars, I make sure to stick to and around the speed limit and I would prefer if the car behind me respected that too and didn’t try to encourage or get me to speed up for their convenience! Trust me, there are plenty of side streets and such to turn onto to get around me if need be.
3) Take your time. I understand that everyone always has to be somewhere at a certain time but, not checking a GPS application beforehand to assess when you needed to leave in order to arrive at your destination in a timely fashion is nobody’s fault but your own. Even inexperienced drivers know that traffic is crazy and jams can happen at any time. What makes these situations bad though are the people who rush around and cause an even bigger mess with an accident. If I’m being honest, girls in my age range are the biggest offenders of this (hey, a girl has to look good when she’s going out right?), but I’ve learned that I have to get up twenty minutes before I usually do and you should too!
4) Care and be aware! The best advice about driving that I’ve ever received is to just care about others around you by being aware of your surroundings. I know that your favourite Rolling Stones song just came on the radio but, don’t take your eyes off the road just to jam out. If it’s really that important to you then pull over and rock on! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people driving around, not looking at the road at all, and almost causing an accident. It’s no secret that this is mostly caused by cell phones and technology, which leads me to my next point…
5) Get off your phone! Seriously man, just do it. Yes, as a young person in society, I basically live off of my phone, but not when I’m driving. When I do need to use my phone for directions and such, I make sure to turn on this fantastic feature called, DO NOT DISTURB. It’s a game changer. But jokes aside, using phones while driving is a serious issue that needs to be stopped because no matter how good or experienced of a driver you are, no one is safe from texting their life away. Plus it’s ILLEGAL!
Well, those are just a few of my tips and ideas for how to be the absolute best and safest driver you can be in order to make yourself and everyone on the road around you feel a little safer while driving in a crazy world. And to make sure you are updated on all the rules of the road, visit https://www.mass.gov/lists/drivers-manuals. Buckle up!