What Are Your Unwritten Rules of Driving Etiquette?

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We could all be a little bit better drivers. Sure, every driver (hopefully) knows the written rules of the road. Traffic laws are there to ensure you use your turn signal, stop at stop signs, and—at least in some places—preserve the sanctity of the left lane as the passing lane. What I’m interested in right now are all the driving offenses that might not get you pulled over, but sure do make you an asshole.

Turn signals, proper merging technique, the friendly “thanks for letting me pass” wave: There’s a baseline for human decency you owe other drivers on the road. Then again, everyone will have a justifiable reason for cutting someone off and speeding every now and then. (Although, I should point out that we’ve previously done the math and found that, practically speaking, speeding doesn’t really help you get to your destination much faster.) Ultimately, I’m sure that whatever speed you’re going is perfect. Everyone faster than you is a maniac, and everyone slower than you is an idiot. I get it.

And what about the etiquette for passengers in your car? Do you mind when someone places their feet on the dashboard, or is that a surefire way to get shotgun privileges revoked? Do passengers need the driver’s permission before eating in the car? Who controls the music?

I’m asking you, Lifehacker readers, to tap into your road rage in the comments: What are the unbreakable (but unwritten) rules of driving? Are you the only driver left who knows how a parking lot should work? What does it take for you to resort to your horn? (I highly recommend comedian Katrina Davis’ bit about needing a separate car horn for acknowledging our own mistakes.)

It’s probably been a while since you took driver’s ed; even still, there are plentyrules” of the road that were never even covered in your driving test. After sifting through your responses, I’ll round up the best unwritten rules of driving to publish in a post next week. Maybe we can find some common ground that makes driving suck a little less for all of us.


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