Oh the stress of studying for your driver’s license! It may have even been decades ago, but we all still remember the many rules we had to learn in order to obtain a license. Unfortunately as the days and years pass, we forget many of the laws we were required to know and observe as drivers. And each day, many drivers break these laws. Because the rules are in place for safety, it is important for a refresher course. Avoid needless collisions and tickets by relearning the driving laws you may have forgotten.
How Close Is Too Close?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most collisions are rear end collisions. In Oklahoma, tailgating or following too closely is against the law. So, if rear end collisions are the majority of accidents, but tailgating someone is against the law, we have obviously forgotten something from driver’s education.
How close is too close? Obviously when you are stopped in traffic at an intersection, you will be somewhat close to the vehicle in front of you. The time we need to be aware of distance between vehicles the most, is when in motion. A good rule of thumb is to have at least the distance of a car in between you and the car in front of you. However, the distance needed to stop is increased as speeds are increased. So, remember to increase the car lengths as you increase speeds. The higher the speed, the more space you should have between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Stay In Your Lane
Another type of collision that happens is when a car travels out of their designated lane unsafely. There are laws in place to ensure traffic moves safely in lanes. In Oklahoma, you can be heavily fined when you don’t observe these laws. First, do not forget you can be ticketed for not signaling your lane change. It may be a habit the you need to acquire again, but just looking over your shoulder to change lanes is not enough.
Also, not only are you required to signal when changing lanes, you must signal a turn. And don’t forget to stay in your lane when you turn. Stay as far right in a single lane right turn and stay as far left when turning left in a single lane. This law is in place to keep turns from encroaching oncoming traffic.
If They Are Walking, You Are Yielding
Every day we drive our commutes to work, run the usual errands, take the same routes. With driving that is the same daily, we sometimes become lax with the regulations in place for driving. How many times have you approached that four way stop on the way to the store? Do you stop at the stop sign or behind the stop line? Just as a crosswalk at an intersection should not be blocked, same goes for the stop line. These regulations are in place to protect your vehicle from oncoming traffic and to protect pedestrians.
Also, when a pedestrian is present, you must yield to them. This means when they are signaled to walk across the street and your light is green, you must allow them to go first. ALWAYS be aware of cyclists, runners, and pedestrians at intersections before stopping and again before accelerating. The only time the pedestrian should yield to a vehicle is when they cross the street without safely using a crosswalk or intersection. This can cause vehicles to unexpectedly to stop in traffic, causing an unsafe situation. To be the safest with people crossing the street unsafely, be aware of the cars around you and yield to the pedestrian if you can, without causing an accident with another vehicle.