How to be a thoughtful and courteous driver

As part of being a safe and responsible driver, not only do you need to know and follow the rules of the road; you also need to use common sense, and be thoughtful and courteous to other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

This means that you share the road responsibly, give the right of way, and do not take actions that can cause trouble or risk for others.

drivers license happy driver

For example, if you tailgate, drive recklessly, pass the stop sign without fully stopping, ignore giving the right of way, or drive too slowly in the fast lane forcing other drivers to pass you on the right, you are not courteous to other drivers on the road.

Here are a few tips on being a thoughtful and courteous driver:

  • Always allow a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, so you can react to a traffic situation quickly and allow other drivers to maneuver around your car safely when needed.
  • Always drive at a safe speed based on the speed limit, flow of traffic, weather, road surface, and traffic situation.
  • When entering a freeway or changing lanes, if you can, do not make other drivers brake in order to allow you into their space.
  • Research shows that sticking to the middle lane is probably the quickest and safest way to get to your destination.  Therefore, drive in the right or middle lane and pass on the left.
  • Always signal in advance before turning or changing lanes.
  • Fully stop at a stop sign and never run a red light.
  • Always give the right of way to pedestrians.
  • Do not block intersections.
  • Never tailgate or drive recklessly.
  • Never succumb to road rage.
  • Never drive too slowly in the fast lane of the highway (left lanes are typically used for passing or faster speed; maintain a safe speed with the flow of traffic).