Driving Etiquette

Driving to work, running errands, leisure trips – many people spend a good part of their day in their vehicles. Whether you’re driving your car or a monthly car rental, it’s important to be aware of the basic road manners that will keep you safe. Driving can be a stressful task that often brings out rudeness in even the nicest people. Remember, driving isn’t just about getting from point A to B. You’re not the only one on the road, so you should be as courteous as walking among friends.

Here are some driving etiquette reminders to help you navigate through the highways as a safe and polite driver:

Do not use phone

Driving requires your full attention. Thus, it is encouraged not to use your mobile phone to increase the driver’s risk of causing a road accident. Reading or sending a text message, and answering or making a call, can take your eyes off the road for at least three to five seconds. It can be disrespectful and dangerous to other people. If you’re caught using your phone in the UAE, you will be fined AED 400 and four black points.

Do not tailgate

There should be at least one car length between you and the car in front of you. Tailgating is not only rude but also dangerous. If the vehicle in front has to go on a sudden stop, the car behind that’s following too close may not have enough time to brake. Always follow the three-second distance rule. How it works – pick any road sign or landmark and wait for a car to pass it. Then, count to three seconds before following it. This is highly encouraged if going to rent a car.

Turn signals early

The indicators on your vehicle let you communicate your intentions to other drivers. It should be used when making a left or right-hand turn at an intersection, entering a driveway that’s on the other side of the road, parking on the side of a street, changing lanes, and more. Failing to use your turn signals may cause other vehicles to crash into you or vice versa. Make it an automatic habit to activate them if necessary.

Stay on the correct lane

On highways with multiple lanes, keep your car in the center of your lane. Don’t hang to the left or right side of your lane. Keep to the right and allow faster cars to use the lanes left of you. If you see vehicles that need to overtake you on your right side, move to a slower lane to the right of you. When lanes merge, the zip-lock system should be followed. The left car goes, then the right car, then the left, then the right, etc.

Honk sparingly

Incessant honking, mostly when stuck in traffic, can be irritating for other people on the road. Don’t do it just because you’re frustrated with another driver. It won’t do any good and can even trigger road rage. If you want to alert other drivers of your intentions, letting out a quick, light beep is enough. More so, be careful where you honk in the UAE. If done in a “prohibited” area, it could get you Dh100 in fine and four black points.

Practicing basic driving etiquette is a simple way to keep you safe behind the wheel. It can reduce everyone else’s risk of getting into accidents. Make them a habit, and you’ll get to your destination safely. It’s a must if you’re driving in a foreign country and using a car for rent. For instance, reckless driving alone will incur a fine of AED 2,000 and impounding of the vehicle for 60 days. But if you’re one to follow the rules, then you should be fine.

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