There are no written laws concerning highway etiquette. Most people blend common sense and consideration in an attempt to keep the peace on public roadways. While you will always have to deal with one or two rude drivers, it’s best to try and be as considerate and respectful as possible at all times.

Here is the basic etiquette you should follow while driving on highways:

Only Use the Fast Lane for Passing
One pet peeve many people have is people driving in the passing lane. The passing lane is there for cars that are traveling faster than the flow of traffic to pass safely; this includes emergency vehicles. Many states have laws prohibiting drivers from remaining in the left lane longer than a few miles. While it’s necessary to switch to that lane if you are preparing to turn in that direction, remaining in the fast lane any longer than absolutely necessary is a no-no.

Respect Emergency Vehicles
Most states have enacted “Move over Laws,” that require all motorists to move to the side of the road in the event that they see an emergency vehicle approaching. If you are on a four-lane highway, this doesn’t apply. If you are on a regular two-lane road, however, you must make way for emergency vehicles that are coming towards you, from any direction.

Let Others Merge into Traffic
On-ramps are designed to allow for merging traffic to pick up enough speed to enter safely into the flow of traffic. If you are coming up on a vehicle that is attempting to merge into your lane, signal and then move into the adjacent lane so they can enter. If there is someone in that lane and you can’t move over, reduce your speed so they can enter the flow of traffic. Depending on how close to the merging car you are, speeding up may be a safer option.

The key is to adjust your speed as safely as possible without disrupting the flow of traffic around you.

Highway etiquette simply involves having respect for other drivers and being considerate. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and always maintain a safe speed.

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