By Hayleigh Gowans
The topic this week is on driving and road etiquette — something that many people will spend a good majority of their day doing, either driving or being a passenger themselves.
I wanted to write about driving etiquette not only hoping to decrease road rage incidents, but also to bring awareness to the fact that just slowing down and being courteous can increase the safety and efficiency of the roads we all share.
The fact is, impolite driving is what causes much of the backed up traffic we see frequently. One interesting video I would recommend watching is by YouTuber CGP Grey called “The Simple Solution to Traffic,” which can be found at youtu.be/iHzzSao6ypE. The video creator explains how backed-up intersections and “traffic snakes” that slow down cars on a highway are usually caused by people who tailgate another car and need to brake frequently to avoid collision, or drivers who change lanes often and when it is not necessary.
The solution presented in the video includes making sure to keep the same amount of space between your car and the car in front of you as the amount of space to the car behind you. A more futuristic solution presented is to only allow driverless cars on the road as they are the most efficient with communication between each other, optimizing road space, but that seems like something that won’t happen anytime soon.
Here are some other safety/etiquette tips for driving:
Since the Eagle Bulletin covers the eastern suburbs, there’s one stretch of road I want to address: Lyndon Corners and the stretch of Route 5 in front of the DeWitt Wegmans. That is one of the most heavily used roads in the area and also where I see many traffic manners being throw out the window. I’ve seen cars traveling west in the left lane dangerously cut right over two lanes just so they can make it to the exit for 481/690. Please don’t be that person, stay in the right lane for the exit you need and don’t expect others to make room for you.
In the 18th edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” I found a section on how different car horn patterns can mean different things on the road, and can progressively mean you’re losing your patience:
One of the main tips I would give to drivers is don’t take someone else’s traffic infraction or mistake personally. Yes, that other person might be acting rude and therefore causing the road to be an unsafe place, but it could have been an honest mistake on their part. Try to take a deep breath and forget about it, it’s not something worth getting worked up over.
If you have any questions or to suggest topics for discussion, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, mind your modern manners!
I am a reporter for the Eagle Bulletin and Cazenovia Republican at Eagle News. I report on topics ranging from town and village government, business, news and features. I am a 2014 graduate of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and have a degree in Journalism and a minor in Psychology.