Traffic Etiquette that Helps Avoid Accidents

This final quarter of the year, heading into winter, sees more road accidents than other months, in Philadelphia. Last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation showed almost a 20% uptick in the number of road crashes, but thankfully, a lower number of fatalities. Crashes by frequent out-of-state drivers were worse.

Driving, no matter how skilled the driver, will always involve a certain level of risk. Fortunately, there are things drivers can do to lessen the odds of being involved in an accident. Some of these things aren’t just about good skills, they’re about being polite on the road, and how much safer people are as a result.

Do not tailgate

When driving in Philadelphia, there are roads with predetermined speed limits, where going too fast or even too slow will be penalized. Traffic laws are more heavily enforced in Pennsylvania than many others, so be that much more careful. If the car in front is “too slow, ” on the road, it probably is within the limit permitted. There will be no sympathy for being aggressive with a slow driver after an accident.

Do not signal another driver to go faster by tailgating. Many drivers just find this rude and aggressive. Psychology even suggests that this is one of the most common causes of rage because the act practically impinges on the other driver’s private space. Crossing double-lines to pass another vehicle is not recommended, either. Stay calm and allow the vehicle to set the pace until there is a passing lane or the slow car exits.

If being tailgated, let them go ahead

Tailgating is a poor behavior, but it isn’t possible to stop others from doing it. If being tailgated, avoid retaliating. Take the high road; move over, roll down your window, and allow the impatient driver to go ahead. Rather than getting mad, think it could be a surgeon trying to get to an emergency procedure, or someone who will miss their chance to see their family this year if they miss a flight.

Honk the horn sparingly

Honking should only be done to convey legitimate signals that promote road safety. Do not use the horn to release frustrations at a other drivers. Not only does it promote aggression, but incessant honking is also a great disturbance to the neighborhood.

When honking the horn, be aware that beeps might be interpreted differently by others. Conventionally, a short beep just makes others aware of your presence. Longer beeps are used to signal the driver in front of you to move forward, especially if they’ve been stopping on a green light for too long.

Give way to other motorists so they can merge

There is actually no official rule that obliges drivers to let another vehicle merge with the traffic. But for the sake of politeness and smoother road use, just let them go ahead, especially when at a stop sign when they attempted the merge.

Again, the traffic code of conduct discussed here is put in place so that commuters are kept safe. However, full compliance rarely happens. There will be some drivers who insist on having it their way. If their insistence and disregard for the safety of others results in an accident with injuries, it’s really important to contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer. This professional will help protect your rights. They can get the compensation both needed and deserved.

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Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov is a business news writer who covers a wide range of issues.