Don’t run red lights

Duh.

They’re red for a reason.  Because traffic in the other direction has the green light.  They will be moving and entering the intersection.  They have the right of way and probably will not stop for you.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen at least 15 people flat-out run a red light.  These aren’t people that caught the last bit of the yellow light and went through, I’m talking about the light being red before they even entered the intersection… And in some cases, the other light turning green while they’re in the intersection.

I’ve also seen jerks in a left-turn lane with a long line of people going through the red light in a giant chain.  It’s inconsiderate to everyone else trying to get home that can’t because you’re blocking the intersection.

I’m sure some of the time people run red lights because they misjudge the length of the yellow light.  It can, in theory, be difficult to decide what to do with a yellow light.   Yes, the correct thing would be to slow down and stop if you’re within stopping distance of the line, but really, hardly anyone does that.  Each driver needs to have a predetermined place on the road where if they reach it before the light turns yellow, they can go through the light, but if they have not reached it when the light turns yellow, they should stop.  I usually make that point about where right-hand turn lanes start.  This should then prevent the little moment of hesitation the second the light turns, and prevent you from making the decision to run the yellow light and not get there in time.

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Be Courteous

I’ve always assumed this was obvious.  Be courteous to others on the road.  If someone is trying to make a right-hand turn at a light, and you’re blocking their way (if you’re going straight), do your best to move out of their way so they can get past you.

When you see an accident, or something similar, and the vehicle(s) involved stop, you should stop too. If someone is already there to provide a witness and help, you may continue on.  This piece is for a friend of mine who almost got hit by an SUV and ended up doing a 180 on the highway, leaving her facing the other direction.  This, obviously, is a dangerous position to be in.  None of the 6 or so cars that passed her, stopped to offer assistance.  If a car is facing the wrong way in the middle of the highway, something bad probably happened, and it would be best to find a way to get him/her either off the road and/or, preferably, facing the proper direction.  The driver could have had a seizure, a heart attack, an allergic reaction, a baby, who knows.  If you are the first or second person on the scene of a driver in distress, you should stop and help.  Sure, there could be extenuating circumstances that prevent you from stopping for someone, but keep in mind, road karma is a bitch, and when you’re suffering from an asthma attack while driving on the highway, everyone will be too preoccupied to stop and call 911 for you and keep you alive until an ambulance comes. Hmph.