Forgotten Rules of the Road
How Many of these Rules Do You Ignore?
Driving can become so much of a habit, that you don’t really even think of it anymore. How many of us have gone into a trance-like state only to realize we have driven a few miles, gone through several intersections, and we don’t remember it at all? It’s a bit unnerving, but studies do show that you’re actually a good driver during those periods.
But how many of us, when not in that trance-like state, drive safely following the rules of the road? Let’s review for those who haven’t gone through driver’s ed lately. We aren’t just talking about forgetting to use our signal *cough* half of Billings *cough*
Obey the Order of the Stop Sign
You roll up to a 4-way stop… do you remember who gets to go first? It’s common knowledge that vehicles go in the order that they arrived at the stop sign. But when two vehicles approach at the same time? In this instance, the vehicle on the right gets to break the tie.
What if you come to a stop sign where cross traffic doesn’t stop? In this case, whoever came to the stop sign first gets to go first; even if they are turning in front of you. The vehicle traveling straight does not automatically get to go first.
Get Out of the Left Lane
Our Montana highways are generally pretty devoid of vehicles. The exception is when you are near a town or city. When you’re driving on a multi-lane highway, the left lane is for passing. Don’t hang out over there if you don’t have to.
2 Seconds Back
Are you a tailgater? There’s a chance you are and you don’t realize it. We inadvertently become that tailgater when someone is going slower than we think they should be driving.
The rules of the road say that we should be two seconds behind the car ahead of us. This allows the distance to increase when speed increases. So how far is that exactly? If you’re going 35mph, you should be 100 feet behind the car ahead of you. Chances are you end up being much closer than that.
Pedestrians (almost) Always Have the Right of Way
You have probably heard the saying that you always must yield to pedestrians. The truth is that pedestrians don’t always have the right of way (not in Montana at least). Don’t get this confused with permission to run them over though!
If a pedestrian is struck while crossing outside of a crosswalk, there is a good chance that the driver won’t be issued a citation. But it’s up to the pedestrian to keep a watchful eye out too. Many think that since they’re in the crosswalk every car is going to stop for them. Studies have shown that more people are hit in the crosswalk than elsewhere.
Red and Yellow Lights
In Montana red light cameras aren’t allowed. And many people feel that running red lights has gotten out of hand. Unfortunately, the way the law is written now, is that if any part of your vehicle is in the intersection when the light turns red, then you haven’t run the red light.
There is one big caveat though. If you’re speeding up to make it through the lights, and an officer sees this, you can get pulled over (even just going through a yellow). Your citation can be issued for careless, or even reckless, driving. It’s best to spend the extra few seconds to stop and wait.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Cars
Big Sky Collision Center is striving to be the best collision repair shop in Montana. That means we want you to be safe on the road. Pay attention, slow down, and get to your destination safely. If you do get in a wreck, or someone hits you, bring your vehicle in and we can restore it to full factory safety standards.