Follow the laws and stay away from dangerous drivers while on the road

Published on Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:50 - Written by PATRICE DUNAGIN, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Some days it’s difficult to find a courteous driver on the road - from the tailgater who seems to want to merge their car into yours, to the lane weaver who travels around the loop cutting off cars and changing lanes, to the driver in the right-turn-only lane who doesn’t turn right.

It’s scary some days to get behind the wheel. It’s really scary when you see children in the car with a dangerous driver. What’s a driver to do?

- Stay focused. Pay attention to road conditions, speed, traffic laws, signs, signals and the cars around you.

- Stay alert. You must be able to react quickly to hazards and problems. Pull over at a safe place and take a nap when you become sleepy.

- Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. The three- to four-second rule will usually give you enough time to brake.

- Get away from erratic, dangerous drivers. You don’t want to be part of the crash they are about to have. Notify police of dangerous drivers, if you can safely do so.

- Scan the road well ahead of where you are. Don’t drive behind big trucks that block your view.

- Don’t assume another driver is going to move out of your way or let you merge. Anticipate worst-case scenarios and drive cautiously.

- Don’t speed. Posted limits are for ideal conditions, and the limits apply to all drivers. Slow down when conditions are wet or icy.

- Use your turn indicators. Signal your intentions so other road users know what you plan to do next.

- Share the road. You share the road with drivers of various ages and skill levels. You also share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and vehicles of various sizes. Be courteous and share.

- Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense in a crash. So buckle up. This includes the driver and all passengers.

For more information, contact Patrice Dunagin, Smith County FCS agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, at 903-590-2980.