Driving 101: Basic Road Etiquette

person peaking out the car while driving

Being a safe driver is not just about following official rules of the road, it is also about being considerate of the people around you, aka adhering to the driving etiquette.

Following the driver’s etiquette goes beyond legality. It’s about doing what is best to keep others safe. No matter what.

It demands you to go beyond your call duty. As an ethical driver, you have to refrain from doing things that will negatively affect how others cruise down the road, even though doing so may be within the scope of what is considered “legal.”

Unfortunately a lot of Los Angeles drivers don’t follow driving etiquette. In fact, they often resort to angry driving when things don’t go their way. Some even practice distracted driving as a way to cope with the city’s extreme traffic congestion. This poses terrible consequences to the overall safety of Angelenos, and this is evident in how their city has been dubbed by the LA Curbed as the most dangerous place in the country for pedestrians.

The catastrophic injury attorneys at Omega Law Group are deeply concerned about traffic casualties in the city. In the effort of avoiding different types of accidents born out of reckless driving, we came up with some ways you can practice good driving and maintain highway etiquette:

Don’t Drink And Drive

This should already go without saying: don’t drink and drive! Not only is drunk driving illegal, it demonstrates an utter disregard for your safety as well as others’. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person dies every 45 minutes because of drunk driving, an issue which accounts for nearly 30% of all traffic fatalities across the country. Moreover, it can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license among others, including (but not limited to) your arrest. For more info, click here.

Use Turn Signals

On the road, you need to communicate with other drivers to ensure optimal safety. One way to do this is by using your turn signals, especially when you plan on making a turn or switching lanes. If you don’t use your turn signals when merging in another lane, there’s a good chance that you will be one of the 35,000 injured per year as a result of unsafe lane changes as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Follow The Right Of Way

It’s simple driving courtesy: you need to follow everybody’s right of way even though doing so may inconvenience you. For example, when you’re in a four-way stop, make sure that you let other people who stepped on their brakes first pass through before you. Make sure you also wait until there’s no incoming traffic when making a left turn at an intersection.

With that being said, make sure to also yield to pedestrians. This is especially important when driving in Los Angeles. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety. The failure of Los Angeles drivers to do so have resulted in the injury and/or death of 536 pedestrians under the age of 15 in 2019 alone.

Keep Right

This may be something you forgot since you first received your driver’s license, but you need to “keep right.”

This is a driving courtesy to those around you. The basic principle is to only reserve the left lane when you need to use it for passing. This reduces traffic congestion which will also decrease the likelihood of you getting into an accident, and even enable you to get to your destination faster.

Let Other Drivers Merge Lanes

The road is a public property meant to be shared with everybody. Although you may have reasons for not giving way to other cars (ie: rushing to work), the truth is they’re not justified. It’s impolite, and violates the road and highway driving etiquette. Remember, other drivers just have as much of a right to use the lane as you do. Hogging lanes could lead those around you to be angry drivers and cause them to make risky lane changes which could have led to avoidable traffic accidents. Unsafe lane changes account for 35,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths per year in the United States according to the III and NHTSA respectively.

Call Omega Law Group

Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.