Since we all share the road, we already know there are rules for the pavement. We agree to learn them when we receive a permit, and we agree to follow them when we receive a license – or face the consequences.
Some drivers follow additional rules that might not be in your driver's manual. Each state, and sometimes even local government can add things based on real events or common local behaviors.
Safe Driving Reminders
Before we get into the personal and local rules, we would like to share tips for sharing the road with non-standard vehicles, like semis and motorcycles. Many drivers already know these rules; however, some drivers might not have come across these situations before.
Semi drivers are well acquainted with driving, so in many cases, it is safe to take cues from them. If you see them slowing down below the speed limit, it could be that they were made aware of a hazardous road condition that you cannot see yet. Before passing them, check for road conditions or wait to see if they are going to go into the emergency lane.
Double the distance.
If you think it would be a safe distance between you and another car, double it. You should be able to see the mirrors on the cab. If you cannot see those, you are too close for comfort.
Do not cut off a semi.
When it comes to turning left, people behind you might feel impatient if you choose to remain where you are longer, but that is okay. Judging the distance of a semi is inconsistent, because of all the variables. You and the drivers behind you can wait a few extra seconds.
Like semi drivers, drivers earn a special license to operate their vehicles. They also require special considerations to maintain safe roads. It can be hard to predict the driving patterns of a biker because some seem to take extra precautions while others seem to take extra privileges since their vehicles are smaller. Do not assume you know what the driver will do based on previous experiences but instead pay close attention.
Count the bikes.
If you find yourself on a two-lane highway during a riding event, you might find yourself tempted to pass them. Passing bikers can be done safely, but you need to know how many to look for in your mirror before you so that you don’t hit one.
Keep the roads clean.
This one goes for people who live by the road, as well as for drivers. Don’t litter. It might be tempting to clean your car out as you drive, but not only is that harmful for the environment, but you can cause additional hazards for bikes that might slip on the debris. The same thing goes for grass and leaves. When you are maintaining your lawn, keep the clippings off the road – which brings us to odd rules for drivers to follow.
Odd Rules to Keep Roads Clean
In our home state of Indiana, we are vague about keeping our streets clean. You know, just do not litter or let trimmings drift into the road – things like that. But some states have legally outlined things that do not belong on the road.
California and New Jersey – debris seems to be mostly plant-based, so maybe their gardeners get a little carried away? Rutabagas should not be planted near roadways and for the love of traveling, do not plant trees on roads!
Iowa and North Carolina – Evidently children pose major hazards for drivers because these states have laws against playing in traffic and throwing Red Ryders into the highway.
Having personally witnessed the following situation, I wish Indiana would adopt Georgia’s law that prevents people from driving through playgrounds. During baseball season in rural towns, this bad habit is surprisingly common.
Odd Rules for Drivers and their Vehicles
Alabama laws say you should not drive blindfolded, and I have to agree, but what happened to make parking in front of Dunkin Donuts illegal in Maine?
Hilton Head Island is a beautiful part of South Carolina that has a not-so-pretty problem – rats. Due to this rodent problem, it is illegal to store trash in cars – so if you ever take a vacation there, we suggest stopping by a trash can to throw your empty cups away.
So, there you have it. Unless your car is parked safely behind your Fresh Air Screen, you should probably take a close look at your surroundings and try to follow the rules of the road.
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