When we start driving, we are told to watch the signs, drive the speed limit and obey all traffic laws. But what about the unwritten rules of the road?

It’s important to understand these laws for a safer, easier drive. It also helps continue the speed of traffic as well as makes driving a nicer experience.

Here are some of the unwritten rules:

On all highways, the left lane is the fast lane.

Even if you are driving in another state, this rule still obtains. It is important that you understand this rule. If you are in the left lane, driving the speed limit or under or even under the flow of traffic, you might get honked at. Make sure you use the left hand lane for faster travel. merge-ahead

Be nice!

It takes seconds to put your hand up and wave a thank you to a car next, behind or in front of you. It can be really annoying to let a car in and see no appreciation from that driver. Not only is it the nice thing to do, but it also helps with the attitude of drivers around you, which in turn could help with the flow of traffic.

There is no reason to engage other drivers.

We all know that feeling of wanting to “break check” the car behind us, but that could make traffic worse, let alone injury. It is always best to pull to the right lane and let that car pass. It is never worth injury or death to “teach them a lesson”. Road rage is a very serious situation, and it can escalate very quickly. If you are yelling, cussing, screaming at a neighbor car, pull over and take a breath. It is never worth it.

Move over!

When you are coming upon an entrance to the freeway/highway, pull into the next lane. Leave the right lane for those who are merging. It is obvious to most that merging can and will stop the flow of traffic. It is another unwritten rule of the road that you let one car go in between your automobile and the car ahead of you. This should make the flow easier and faster. If everyone let a car in, and that car was driving the correct speed, the flow wouldn’t get congested at every entry.

Slow down and defer to everyone.

If you are coming upon a car pulling out from a parking spot, slow down. If a car is trying to park, let them. There is never a need or reason to pass these cars and possibly cause an accident.

Park in the lines.

We have all had that experience: driving in a very full parking lot to find one spot open. However the car next to you parked too far over the line and there is not enough space for your car. Be considerate and park in the lines; that is why they are there! As soon as one car parks over the line, it starts a domino effect and soon there are spaces completely unusable, except for maybe a motorcycle.

Give motorcycles a break.

It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, riding a motorcycle. These drivers don’t have the same support system as you do, driving enclosed in a car. Keep an eye open for any and all two wheels on the road. But make sure you know the rules of each state you are in. In California, motorcycles can split the lane. Which means they are able to drive between cars and the lanes. It is best to keep an eye out all the time, but more so when a state allows splitting the lane.

An easy way to make sure you aren’t speeding or in a hurry is to plan your trip ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination without speeding or driving erratic.

Todd Peterson, Oregon accident attorney on the telephone

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