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How to Be a Road Angel

On the Road Cover Story

cars.com On the Road Weekly Publication

10:35 AM EDT, June 15, 2011

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How to Be a Road Angel

10 tips for a civilized commute

 

Texting, rolling stops, tailgating.

Isn't it time we gave the other guy a break?

 

By Deb Acord

CTW Features

 

To all the drivers who think they own the road, etiquette pro Elena Neitlich has three words of advice: "Mind your manners."

Etiquette behind the wheel is even more important than it is at the dinner table because bad manners and rude behavior on the road can have catastrophic results. Here are some ways to improve your manners on the road.

10 tips for a civilized commute

1. Go easy on the horn. Use it only to alert others. Don't use it to communicate your anger or express your frustration. And refrain from showing your anger by gesturing.

2. Avoid driving in another car's blind spot.

3. Work on the merge. If you are merging into traffic, use your turn signal and be patient. If someone is merging in front of you, allow them into the stream of traffic.

4. If a truck or vehicle pulling a trailer is attempting to merge in front of you, flash your lights to let the driver know there is enough room to pull in.

5. Don’t stop in a right-of-way. If you need to let a passenger out, pull into a parking space or around a corner, away from the busy thoroughfare.

6. Especially on windy days, be careful your door doesn't swing open and dent the car parked next to it.

7. Don’t hog the left lane. It’s made for passing, not for cruising. And when you do pass, don't cruise; accelerate and get around the vehicle you are passing.

8. Don't blind the oncoming driver. Turn off your brights when you see a car approaching.

9. Stay back. Tailgating doesn't get you there any faster, and is one of the leading causes of rear-end accidents.

10. Concentrate. Be aware of others and their needs. If you have to take the lid off your coffee cup, or answer a call on your cell phone, or find a pack of gum in your purse, pull over. And especially, refrain from texting while you are driving.

Check back next week for the 10 most annoying things drivers do.