ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Common Courtesy Goes a Long Way on America's Interstate Highways

Updated on April 21, 2012
Westbound I-10
Westbound I-10 | Source

There is an unwritten guide for traveling America's Interstates.

There is an unwritten guide for traveling America’s Interstates. Most of it is common sense.

It was June of ’56 when President Eisenhower signed the historical legislation that began our Interstate Highway System. As a full time RVer, I am one of the appreciative drivers that use interstate highways to traverse America. Driving rules and regulations may vary from state-to-state but common sense driving etiquette is unwavering no matter where you wander and no matter how many wheels or axles you command.

Truckers may not own the road however the amount of usage tax they cough up as well as the efficiency of transporting their goods and thereby contributing to the economy should result in our overall respect for their industry. Besides, they are bigger than most of us. Though there are exceptions to every rule, most truckers follow a basic set of unwritten rules that make interstate travel profitable and safe. These rules aren’t much more than common sense.

A friend of mine from Brussels once commented that it isn’t speed that kills, rather the difference in speed. There aren’t many situations that are worse than cresting a hill at or near the speed limit only to find yourself bearing down on a vehicle crawling along even at or above the minimum posted speed limit. Drivers uncomfortable with maintaining speeds similar to all other highway traffic should find an alternate route.

A similar scenario is the driver that does not or cannot comprehend the concept of merging. Though it is a common courtesy for traffic to change lanes when possible to help drivers access the interstate, it is up to the driver entering the highway to make a smooth transition by merging into existing traffic. The reason onramps are usually long and parallel to the highway is to allow traffic to establish a speed at which they can access the highway amidst existing traffic. Stopping and waiting for an ideal opportunity to access the system is never recommended. Once again, if a driver is uncomfortable with this concept, they should find an alternate route.

Not all vehicles are equal. There comes the time when a trucker makes the decision to pass. And though the intent is to move quickly around a driver, changes in grade may occur thus slowing them. When possible it is not only a common courtesy but in the interest of safety to slow enough to allow them to reenter the right, slower lane in front of you. Chances are they will pull ahead out of your way soon enough. Additionally, as it is difficult for truckers to see the rear of their trailers (or RVers and their rigs), flashing your headlamps on/off or from low beam to high beam and back will allow the trucker to see that it is clear to pull back in the lane in front of you. Most truckers will signal their understanding and thanks by tapping their brake lights.

Most rest areas along the Interstate System are well marked with signs announcing their location. Off ramps leading to these areas are long enough to allow most vehicles to slow down after exiting the highway. Although a slight reduction of speed may be required, slowing excessively while still on the highway is unsafe. Doing so may force another driver into evasive and thereby a dangerous reaction.

I always find it amusing when a driver tailgates in the passing lane forcing their prey into the right lane and then passing yet only at a few miles per hour faster than the car they had forced out of the passing lane. When overtaking another vehicle it is polite to flash your headlights announcing your intent rather than aggressively bearing down on them. They in turn will move out of your way as quickly as safety allows. And when passing, pass. Drivers passing one another at only a few miles per hour difference will eventually tie up upcoming traffic.

Whether highway driving or running to the corner store, if it is raining or simply getting dark…please turn on your headlights. It amazes me to see vehicles in heavy fog or dust storms driving without their lights. Anything that helps other drivers see you is only a benefit.

The Interstate Highway System has made this country more than just about any other legislation on the books. It is one of the safest ways to traverse America. It can only be made safer by adhering to basic and common courtesies.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      donnaMhicks 6 years ago

      Ahh-common sense...a trait many drivers on the road seem to lack! I enjoyed reading this and know several people who truly need to read it.

    • The RV Guy profile image
      Author

      The RV Guy 6 years ago from Somewhere In America

      bdegiulio, puter_dr and teaches12345...thanks for commenting. Sometimes even when the lane is clear it is difficult for me to move into the other lane due to the size of my rig in certain conditions like high winds...but I will always maintain a steady speed to help folks merge onto the highway...

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      I don't think my husband has heard of the merging courtesy concept. He always thinks the other driver should pull over. Sigh! This is helpful information and makes one aware of the proper highway privileges and rules.

    • puter_dr profile image

      Mike Bouska 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      It is amazing how far a bit of courtesy can go. Good information for our "road rage" society.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great advice RV Guy. As you stated, it all comes down to common sense and a little common courtesy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)