Driving Lesson 12 (N2K)

"Interacting with Other Vehicles" Need-To-Know Info 

Lesson 12's "Need-To-Know" section goes through situations like tailgating, road rage, driving with motorcycles on the road and more that can be or lead to road dangers. It's important to be aware of situations like these in order to be prepared and avoid getting yourself into any dangerous situations.

How to Drive a Car: Road Rage

As you learn how to drive a car safely and responsibly you will encounter "Road Rage" situations.  Other drivers may become angry with you or you with them.  This can lead to several dangerous situations - especially a collision.  If you survive the accident  and if your parents find out it was a road rage induced accident, don't expect to get access to the family car for a LONG time.

How to Drive a Car: Blame Your Parents

If your passengers are instigating a retaliation to what another driver did and urge you to retaliate back, say exactly what would happen if your parents were to find out that you acted upon your frustration while driving (And understand that parents often do find out because other drivers are quick to report road rage incidents). Your friends might be willing to take that chance – but they aren’t the ones who will have to live with the punishment!

How to Drive a Car: Daydreaming

Getting carried away by your thoughts is very dangerous when you’re sitting in the driver’s seat.  You can miss stopping at a traffic light or stop sign.  You could miss seeing the car ahead has stopped or you may even not see someone walking across the road.  These are all deadly mistakes but are very avoidable.  Learning how to drive a car safely is learning how to not daydream while driving and giving the road your full attention.

How to Drive a Car: Tailgating

Tailgating is driving too close to the car ahead of you.  Though it may sound harmless, tailgating is stupid and dangerous.  The person ahead of you might get annoyed and slow down or develop road rage.  If someone tailgates your vehicle, come to a safe stop and let the speed demon go.

How to Drive a Car: Right of Way

It’s important to know who has the right of way and to obey the rules.  But having the right of way is no consolation if you wind up in a wheelchair because the other driver didn’t obey the rules.  So you also need to drive defensively.  Watch the other drivers on the road and learn to predict what you think they will do.  Having the right of way doesn't mean you don't have to be cautious of your surroundings or take unnecessary chances.

How to Drive a Car:  Driving with Motorcycles

Motorcycles are a lot harder to see than cars and trucks. Motorcyclists are also vulnerable because they don’t have the protection of a big metal vehicle around them.  Sometimes they even wear shorts or short-sleeved T-shirts and there’s nothing between their bare skin and the road! With this being said, drivers need to be really vigilant to watch out for motorcyclists.

Here are some tips to stay safe :
  • Don’t try to share the lane with a motorcycle. They’re smaller than cars but they still need the whole lane.
  • Allow plenty of room around the motorcycle.  Don’t crowd or tailgate.
  • Be aware that motorcycles sometimes turn unexpectedly.  Their turn signals are hard to see and they often use hand signals.
  • Be very careful turning left in front of motorcycles.  They’re approaching faster than you think.
  • The turn signals on motorcycles don’t shut off automatically like cars’ signals do and sometimes the driver forgets.  So they may not turn when you expect them to.
  • Double-check your mirrors before changing lanes if there’s a motorcycle in the area.
How to Drive a Car:  Railway Crossings

Every year thousands of cars and trucks are crushed at railroad crossings.   Some railroad crossings have big red lights and gates that lower to keep cars off the tracks.  Some have nothing more than a sign at the side of the road.

Here are some Railway Crossing Safety Tips:
  • When you approach a railway crossing, slow down and stop.  Look right, then left, then right again.   If there are no trains in sight, proceed across the tracks as long as there is plenty of room on the other side of the road.  You must be able to clear the tracks on the other side.
  • If a train is coming, leave plenty of room for the train to pass (at least 20 feet or 5 meters from the gate or sign)
    After the train has passed – look right, then left then right again, before you cross the tracks.  There have been many cases where cars tried to cross the tracks after one train passed but didn’t realize there was second  coming from the other direction.
  • If there are signals – wait until the lights stop flashing and the gate goes up before crossing

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