We’ve all been there: while running behind schedule and in a hurry, another driver cuts us off and nearly causes a rear-end collision. It’s hard to remember manners at times like these, but even good drivers make mistakes.
Good highway driving etiquette includes never driving while tired or distracted, adjusting to mistakes made by other drivers and carefully merging onto the highway.
Good Highway Driving Etiquette Means Never Driving Tired
Driver fatigue is a major cause of highway accidents, and more than 400 Canadians die needlessly every year in accidents caused by drowsy drivers. Research shows that going without sleep for 18 hours causes impairment equal to the effects of having a blood alcohol content of .05 per cent. After 24 hours, the level of impairment increases to the same as having .1 per cent blood alcohol content.
Much like alcohol, driver fatigue increases your risk of being involved in an accident by:
- Slowing reaction time
- Decreasing awareness
- Impairing judgment
In a recent study reported by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, one in five, or 4.5 million Canadian drivers, admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once throughout their previous year of driving. On Annual Fatigue Impairment Awareness Day, the IBC joins with government representatives, law enforcement personnel, health care professionals, and various members of the academic community to remind all Canadians not to operate a motor vehicle without first having adequate rest. According to the IBC, the risk of single-vehicle collisions per kilometre travelled skyrockets during the early morning hours.
For your own safety and the safety of others, good highway driving etiquette means not driving during in the early morning between the hours of 2 to 6 a.m.
Good Highway Driving Etiquette Means Never Driving Distracted
Distracted driving is just as dangerous as driving while fatigued. Approximately 100 people die every day and thousands die each year because they continue to use either a handheld or hands-free cellphone while behind the wheel. In a recent post, Bow Valley Insurance provided important takeaways from Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a National Safety Council sponsored public awareness project.
According to the NSC, cellphones:
- Have cognitive distraction effects on the brain
- Hands-free devices provide no safety benefits
Good highway driving etiquette includes never using a cellphone while behind the wheel and sharing the dangers of cellphone use while driving with others.
Car Insurance Calgary: Yield to & Alert Drivers Who Make Mistakes
Despite all the warnings and efforts to educate the public, many drivers continue to drive tired and distracted. Unfortunately, these drivers are often:
- Not paying attention to their surroundings
- Unaware of their mistake
By alerting a driver who makes a mistake, you could be preventing an accident from occurring in the future. A quick “beep” of the horn is typically enough to alert a driver of an error. Good highway driving etiquette includes avoiding an accident by yielding the right-of-way to a driver who makes a mistake and letting other drivers know when they make an error.
Tips on Merging Onto the Highway
New drivers are often involved in collisions as they merge into oncoming traffic. While remembering to focus on the road ahead, the trick to judging speeds and distances between oncoming vehicle is to turn your head to look quickly and to use your mirrors at the same time. This means you must focus your attention in three different directions at once.
New drivers should practice the following during daylight hours and light traffic periods:
- Judging the speed and distance between oncoming vehicles
- Gaining enough speed to merge safely
Remember, good highway driving etiquette means always yielding the right-of-way to those merging onto the highway to avoid an accident and keep your car insurance in Calgary low.
Car Insurance Calgary: Bow Valley Insurance
The brokers at Bow Valley Insurance urge you to practice good highway driving etiquette and develop safe driving habits.
Request an auto insurance quote from Bow Valley today!