With bumper-to-bumper traffic, and everyone seemingly in a rush to get somewhere, navigating Hawaii’s roads can be challenging. It takes just one accident to make your commute seem worse than it already is. However, when you Drive Aloha, you can avoid being that bad driver. Whether you’ve been driving for years or just received a newly minted driver’s license, there’s always room for improvement. Here are five tips to become a better driver:
1. Use Your Turn Signals
Let drivers know you want to turn or change lanes early enough so they’re able to take appropriate actions. Don’t wait until you’re at a red light to use your turn signal. This allows the driver behind you to change lanes and avoid sitting behind you when the light turns green.
2. Put Your Cell Phone Away
Cell phones have quickly become one of the top causes for distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council 2014 Annual Injury and Fatality Report, 26 percent of all car accidents are caused by the use of cell phones, including the use of hands-free devices. Do yourself and other drivers on the road a favor – put the cell phone away while you’re behind the wheel and focus on the road.
3. Show Aloha and Let People Merge In
Don’t speed up if you see someone signal that they want to change lanes. Not letting other drivers merge into your lane actually causes traffic to be more backed up. Smile, wave or throw a shaka, and let other drivers merge. It won’t add much time to your commute and it will spread a little Aloha.
4. Don’t Try to Beat The Light
Yellow does not mean go faster. When the light turns yellow and you have enough space to safely stop, then stop. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers expect you to be completely stopped by the time the light turns red. You risk endangering yourself and others when you run a yellow light. Trying to save a minute or two is just not worth it.
5. Be Mindful of Others on the Road
Cars aren’t the only moving objects you should be paying attention to. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists use the same roads and you should be considerate of them while driving. Watch for pedestrians at intersections and crosswalks, and let them cross the street safely before proceeding through. Give bicyclists and motorcycle/moped riders the space they need to safely navigate the roads.