Friday, January 2, 2015

Driving Tips part 2

When I wrote my last post of driving, I thought I had covered everything I had wanted to, but I started to recall more as I was driving. Here are more tips on how to improve your driving experience and the experience of others.

DON"T USE HIGH BEAMS. If you live in a city, you almost never have a reason to use these. They may not cause your accident, but they blind other drivers, some coming in your direction. I actually wondered if it's legal to put a mirror on the back of my car so that people could realize how bright these lights are. When the car behind me is using them, all three of my mirrors are blind and reflecting light into my eyes. That is definitely dangerous especially if I decide I need to change lanes and you decide you want to accelerate. To fix this, don't use these lights. The symbol for high beams is the combination of horizontal bars and a shape meant to represent your headlight's bulb. Some cars tell you when you are using them, but not many such as my car. Look for the symbol on your headlights switch and make sure to avoid it unless you are absolutely alone on a dark road.

Use your signals when you want to change lanes, not while changing. My sister would often get upset because people wouldn't let her change lanes. I would then comment that she never indicated that she wanted to move over. For the people behind, she might just look like a drunk or confused driver which would mean they want to get far away from her. If she would signal, about one out of three cars would let her in.

While changing lanes, accelerate. This is what you are supposed to do. Since you aren't going straight while lane-changing, you have to increase your speed to match the people in the other lane as well as prevent the people behind you from needing to slow down drastically. If you don't have enough space to properly accelerate and refrain from having to brake, then you didn't have enough space to change in the first place.

Know the lines. You know the solid lines? That's when you cannot change lanes. Even when there are no lines, like in an intersection, you are not allowed to change lanes. In fact, some practices, such as turning on red, are dependent on people obeying this law. The times you can change lanes is when the lines are dotted. When they are blocky, then that is a warning that the lane is not going straight. You often see them on the freeways to indicate that the lane is an exit only lane.

Know your lane rights. The only people who are allowed access to one or more lanes while crossing an intersection are the ones turning into a 3-lane or more road on a green light, in which only the lane closest to the straight traffic has this right. So that means if you are turning left, and you are in the most left lane, you can only turn into the most left lane unless that was the only lane. The same is true with the right lanes. While a cop will most likely never give you a ticket for breaking this law, if you get into an accident, the blame is all on you. Just follow the curved dotted line and you should be fine unless someone decides to break this law.

Learn to read road signs. In the rare occasions that you come across a spot where the exit lanes on the freeway are either the left or center instead of being right, there are warnings posted on the freeway. When you come across that green sign above the freeway, the side of the sign where the small "Exit" sign is above indicates which side of the freeway you need to be on to use it.

That's all I have for today, but I feel like there is more for me to cover so you can expect another post like this sometime in the future. Until then, I wish you a fantastic new year.

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