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How to Follow the Civilized Rules of the Road

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Highways, country roads, and city streets are often a driving exercise in hostility. People are usually in a hurry, and when behind the wheel they are not only in a hurry but usually mad about being in a hurry. Irritation and road rage seem to go from zero to 60 in humans.

But, there are ways to drive a bit more civilized and temper down the road rage (yours and others), and it all starts with a refresher in manners.

If someone lets you merge or you let someone in, acknowledge the gesture with a friendly wave, according to Readers Digest writer Lauren Diamond.

Unless you are on the way to saving the world (chances are you’re most definitely not), do not use the shoulder to get around traffic—the shoulder should only be utilized in an emergency situation, according to Diamond, who adds that using an exit lane to get around another vehicle is dangerous and rude.

Diamond also cautions against tailgating—it’s a frustrating and maddening situation that can easily result in a collision; instead, maintain at least one car length distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.

Exercise good judgment before wailing on the horn; Diamond suggests only hitting the sound machine to alert drivers to your presence if you think they can’t see you or when your fellow motorist has forgotten what to do at a green light.

When safe, allow another vehicle to merge into traffic, advises Diamond, and she recommends refraining from engaging with angry drivers in any situation. Diamond reports that “according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive and dangerous driving accounts for 56 percent of fatal car crashes.”

Finally, don’t drive distracted or practice distracting driving habits like talking or texting on a cellphone, fiddling with entertainment controls, eating, drinking, or any behavior that takes your attention from the road.

News Source: Reader’s Digest