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Courteous drivers - thank you!

I would like to give a shout out to the courteous drivers - you know, the ones who actually use their directional signals so that those around them have an idea about which way they’re going. . and then let’s really  thank the ones who actually stop at the stop sign. Not roll through it, not blow past it like there’s no sign there - but the ones who actually come to a complete stop at the stop sign. 

I’m not sure if we can blame the lack of courteous drivers on Covid or not, but I feel there’s really been a decline in driving etiquette. Unfortunately, with the lack of driving etiquette and courtesy, comes consequences. How many people are killed because of poor driving habits and behavior? Not just the drunk drivers or those under the influence of something else, but the drivers who can’t put down their phones. Those who drive distracted. Driving is a full-time job. There’s a lot to pay attention to whilst driving. The last thing any of us need on the road are those who aren’t paying attention to driving. I’m in California and we have a “hands-free” driving law. Funny how some think that “hands-free” means holding your phone in one hand with the speaker to your ear. In this day and age, I’d like to believe that all cell phones have the “speaker phone” option - if not the bluetooth option in your car. If your car doesn’t have the bluetooth built in, you can always purchase one for it. They’re not perfect but it’s hands-free. 

What is a “courteous driver”, per se? How about the person who gives you the nice wave of thanks when you let them in. How about you the person who understands merging? Like a zipper, folks! If each person lets another person in, we all keep moving along. If you know that a lane is ending ahead, move over prior rather than wait until the last minute to move over. 

A courteous driver is also a defensive driver - paying attention to all who are around and anticipating actions. They realize that it’s probably not a good choice to cut in front of a semi-truck of many tons because they weren’t paying attention and their exit is right up ahead. It’s really okay to miss your turnout, go to the next and get back onto where you wanted to go. The only time that I can think of that this didn’t work was when my mom and I were driving from the Washington, D.C. airport to a vineyard in Virginia and I missed the turn. Unlike here in California, I wasn’t able to take the next exit - there wasn’t one! Apparently, there are mountains you just can’t go around. It was quite the experience and gps was pretty new to me at that point in time. (I swear, I’m much better now at paying attention to the little beeps that tell you you should turn here)

Imagine if we all drove the speed limit and stopped at red lights and stop signs? How many times do you hear of people who are killed because someone didn’t stop at the stop sign or were speeding and killed others or themselves? So many could be prevented by simply following the rules and laws of the road. They’re there for a reason. 

What if we realized that our cars do not come with crystal balls about what other drivers are doing and we used our directional signals? What if we thought about the fact that while we are driving, paying attention to the road is first and foremost? If there’s a squabble in the back seat, find a safe place to pull over and deal with it. If you really need to sit and take that phone call, pull over to a safe place and focus on the conversation or - tell them you’ll call them back when you can really concentrate on the conversation and not on driving. They’ll appreciate you being alive to have the conversation later  rather than get into an accident while you’re on the phone with them. 

Safe and courteous driving benefits ALL of us. Be one. 

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