Six Rules Of The Road You Should Observe (But Probably Won't) Page 2

May 2, 2013

Angry Driver with Road Rage

Angry Driver with Road Rage

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(3) Highway on-ramps are for accelerating up to speed, so do it.

Even if they're cloverleafs, the purpose of a long highway on-ramp is to let you accelerate up to the speed of cars you're going to merge with.

That means way, way higher than the 35 mph we frequently observe drivers maintaining for the length of an on-ramp.

That's frequently followed by panicked acceleration at the very end, often startling drivers who assumed they could safely pass you.

Take our word (and that of experienced driving instructors): Your car can both turn and accelerate at the same time. Put your foot down. By the end of the on-ramp, you should be doing 50 to 75 mph--depending on prevailing traffic.

If you don't and there's a less powerful car behind you, you're putting them at risk because they can't accelerate as fast as you can.

Seriously. Practice accelerating around curves. It's a basic driving skill.

(4) You have turn signals in your car; use them!

To the left of your steering wheel is a stalk that switches on your left and right turn signals.

It's to signal other cars that you're about to change your path in some way.

Turn signal mirror

Turn signal mirror

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Please use that indicator switch to signal your intentions.

Here's the rule: If you're about to turn, or change lanes, and there's another car visible, you should signal the turn.

It alerts other drivers who may be just about to speed up, change lanes, or do something else you're not aware of.

Sure, if you're on a completely deserted Kansas highway and the only other wheeled vehicle you see is a tractor in a field, you don't have to signal.

Any other time: Use. The. Signals!

(5) Are your headlights on? Low beam or brights? And are they properly aimed?

Some states have annual auto-safety inspections that check for proper tire tread, adequate brake pads, working lights, and so forth. Some even check to make sure your headlights are aimed properly.

Because you've probably seen as many wildly skewed lights as we have--perhaps the result of owners changing bulbs or light units on their own and ignoring the adjustment screws afterward.

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