Considerate Driving: How To Be Respectful Towards Other Motorists

Britain’s roads are busy and, potentially, intimidating places. But driving with a bit of consideration for other motorists can make a big difference…

Give Way (When it’s Safe to do so)

Driving with manners isn’t simply a question of niceties, it’s fundamentally better for everyone from a practical perspective. It means safer driving all-around and can even tackle congestion. If someone’s waiting to make a turn, or enter a lane, do your bit and allow one of them to make the necessary move; providing, of course, it’s safe.

Make sure you slow down gradually so that any drivers behind you are aware of what’s taking place and offer clear and well-timed signals to the driver waiting to move. Care is required, as drivers can become confused.

Be Forgiving 

Drivers make mistakes. In fact, they make them frequently. There are no exceptions to this. Why? Because controlling an incredibly quick chunk of metal is demanding work. It requires concentration, skill and care. Which is why it’s becoming harder and harder to earn the right to drive one. So, when another driver does make a mistake, don’t lash out or fall victim to road-rage. Most of these mistakes will be relatively harmless and won’t cause anyone anything other than irritation.

Remember to Say ‘Thank You’

It’s such a simple thing to do, but showing your appreciation to other drivers can go a long way; and encourage them to continue to offer leniency and space to other drivers in future. If someone gives way to you, or allows you to enter their lane, show your appreciation. A simple wave or flash of rear indicators is usually a sensible way of doing so. Other drivers don’t have to help out (many won’t), so acknowledge the good eggs that do.

Be Patient with Nervous and Learner Drivers

No one enjoys being stuck behind a learner driver. They often drive at much reduced speeds and sometimes stall at traffic lights. But it’s important to remember that we were all learner drivers once and no one is truly a ‘natural’ from the start; it takes years to become a fully-competent driver. Beeping at them, becoming aggressive or dangerously trying to overtaken is not only exceptionally rude; it’s dangerous. In addition, applying needless pressure to learner or nervous drivers is just a sure way of making them worse. Give them time to make the right decisions.

Don’t Forget to Indicate¬†

The only way other drivers can be sure of your intent is if you use your indicators. It’s how you communicate with other road-users. They’re not optional, you should be using them every time you leave a roundabout, every time you change lane and every time you make a turn. It’s also important that, once you’ve moved, you turn them off. When you do indicate, make sure you do so in advance. It’s pointless indicating half-way through, or at the end of, a manoeuvre.

Keep things Quiet

Noise pollution has become a real problem. Much of it actually stems from drivers. Whether it’s needlessly making engines roar or playing music at anti-social volumes, it should always be avoided. Not only can it be distracting to drivers during the day, it can also disturb residents when it’s later at night. Show people some respect and enjoy your music, and your car, in a way that doesn’t bother other road-users.

Don’t Litter whilst Driving (Or in General)

Nothing’s quite as blood-boiling as watching a driver litter whilst on the move. Whether it’s a cigarette or a plastic cup, it’s never acceptable. Littering is bad for the environment in general, but it can also pose a danger to drivers depending on its contents. If you’re often driving around with disposables, wait until you’re at your destination to get rid of them properly.

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