RICHMOND – The holiday season has arrived and it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. This year, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) encourages drivers to include being a courteous driver in their New Year’s resolutions.
“One of the best things we can do to keep our roads safe is to remember that we share the road. Being a courteous driver isn’t just about being kind, it’s about staying safe,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Something as simple as remembering to use your turn signal, following at a safe distance and looking out for pedestrians are easy habits to create and they can help you avoid a crash. Being a more courteous driver is a simple change that goes a long way to keep Virginias roads safe for us all.”
So far this year, there were 23,021 crashes where drivers were following too closely, 1,537 crashes involving pedestrians, 539 crashes involving cyclists and 130 crashes involving a failure to signal or improper signal. In an effort to prevent crashes, DMV shares some small changes you can make to be a safer and more courteous driver in the new year.
Remember not to cruise in the left lane. The left lane is intended to be used for passing. Once you have passed another vehicle, please move back to the middle or right lane to keep the left lane open.
Don’t follow too closely. Always follow at a safe distance to allow yourself time to react. Use the two, three, four rule when driving on dry roads to determine the distance between you and the car in front of you.
Two seconds when traveling under 35 mph
Three seconds when traveling between 35 and 45 mph
Four seconds when traveling between 46 and 70 mph
Always use your turn signal when changing lanes. Making sure other drivers are aware of a change in your path ensures they have time to react and can help avoid a crash. Don’t forget to check your blind spots too.
Remember to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. We share the responsibility to keep vulnerable road users safe. Be especially careful when turning at intersections and when driving in heavily populated areas.
Move over. It isn’t just courteous, it’s the law. When you see emergency vehicles, road maintenance, motorist assistance vehicles, or vehicles on the side of the road with their hazards on, safely move over to provide space and proceed cautiously.
While planning for your holiday and new year, please note that DMV customer service centers will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1. More than 50 services are available at dmv.virginia.gov for those who need access to DMV during the closures.
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles