10 Tips for Courteous Driving

People are selfish.  Not everybody, but most people are.  We live in a world where everyone feels entitled to everything, and that just isn’t the case.  The place where I hate seeing selfishness the most is on the road, mostly because of the danger that comes with it.  According to the 2009 U.S. Census, the most recent date available, there were 10.8 million traffic related accidents. Below I’ve thrown together 10 tips that you can apply in order to decrease this number.

  1. Always always always use you’re blinker. Whether you’re turning off the road or simply changing lanes it is always courteous to use your blinker.
  2. Try to stay out of the right lane if you aren’t turning right.  Nobody likes the guy sitting in the front of the line in the right lane waiting to go straight when the next 20 cars behind him were all hoping to turn right on red.  If possible, get in that other lane. This obviously doesn’t apply to the freeway.
  3. Don’t blast your music with your windows down in traffic.  I promise you, nobody likes your music as much as you do.  Save this for the days you cruise on the back roads.
  4. Understand that the road doesn’t belong to you. You are not entitled to any position on the road, you have to share it.  Be that person that let’s someone move over or turn onto a busy street.  Be that person that goes last when encountering others at a stop sign.
  5. Don’t block intersections and don’t stop in front of the entrance to a business.  If you’re at a stoplight, leave that extra space for someone turning left coming from the other direction.
  6. Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Nobody likes the person who tailgates. You can’t push them out of the way, so just slow down a little. Pass when you have a safe and legal opportunity to do so.
  7. Use your horn only when necessary. It’s not put on cars as a tool to “yell” at others. Use the horn to signal others of your presence to avoid accidents.
  8. Give cyclists their space.  Some of you might be annoyed when you see a biker on the road because they’re generally slower than a car. (The cost of not have an engine.) Don’t ever try to scare them. Give them their space.  If you don’t think this is important ride a bike down the road for one mile and I bet you change your mind.
  9. Being late isn’t the end of the world.  If planning ahead didn’t work, it’s better to be safe and late than aggressive and risk getting pulled over or compromising your own safety and the safety as others.
  10. Focus on driving.  That 5 second delay between the light turning green and you starting to move could cause the guy in the car with his wife who is in labor 10 cars back to miss the late and cause that kid to be born in the back of his car.  Yes, a very unlikely situation, but the point should be taken seriously.  Focusing on the road, and not on your phone, is always a great idea.


*I know this is a little outside of the norm of the Happy Mask Salesmen but it needed to be done.


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