It is surprisingly common how many drivers have misconceptions concerning basic driving laws. Unfortunately, certain mistakes could become dangerous and expensive if they’re made time and time again.
Don’t put your driving record at risk; the following tips can help you avoid common misunderstandings so that you can fully abide by the rules of the street.
Since roundabouts are a relatively new addition to the streets, some drivers may not be familiar with how to navigate through them. When approaching a roundabout, drivers must yield to vehicles that are already in the roundabout. When vehicles need to exit, they should signal, ensure that pedestrians are not crossing, and then exit carefully.
2. Failing to Stop at a School Bus Stop Sign
School buses often have to stop to let children hop on or get off. Buses are usually equipped with stop signs that are lighted that fold out from the side of the bus. It’s obvious that if you are behind the bus that you’ll also need to stop, but drivers in multiple lanes also need to stop, even if they are traveling in the opposite direction. The flashing lights on the stop sign will stop and the signs will fold in when it is safe to proceed.
3. Right of Way When Backing out of a Parking Space
Newer drivers sometimes wonder who has the right of way when backing up. When two vehicles are trying to reverse out of a parking spot at the same time, both cars could be held at fault equally because neither car has the right of way. Drivers who need to back out must always yield to vehicles that are already driving in the traffic lane where the driver is trying to back out into. Before backing out, drivers always must check to be sure it’s safe prior to doing so.
4. Passing Rules for Shared Vehicle and Bike Lanes
Cities that don’t have designated bike lanes are usually still bike-friendly, and vehicles and bikes do share these lanes. New drivers or residents may be confused to see a cyclist riding in the street lane, but it’s important to know that bicyclists legally may use the whole traffic lane. Drivers who want to drive in a shared vehicle and bike lane need to be aware that if they want to legally pass a bicyclist, they’ll first need to move over to a different lane.
5. Yielding to Pedestrians
Law states that pedestrians have the right of way in every state in America. Certain states require drivers to yield even if there is not a marked crosswalk, but this is especially important to be aware of because the rate of pedestrian deaths has risen in recent years.
Traffic laws do change, though not very often. It’s a good rule of thumb to visit your state’s DMV website every now and then to be sure that you are aware of all laws, both old and new.