Road Rules

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Sharing the Road

Sharing the Road

Welcome to life’s great truth, that you can’t avoid people, holds true even when driving! In this crash course, we’ll learn how to mingle safely with fellow drivers, pedestrians, and the occasional rogue squirrel.

  • Stay woke: Keep an eye on crosswalk-craving pedestrians, neighboring drivers, and bustling street life. It’s like people-watching, but with higher stakes.
  • Blind spots: They’re not just for awkward social situations. Use your mirrors and windows to make sure everyone’s playing nice on the asphalt playground.

Beware of the bustling blind spot boogeyman! Keep your senses sharp, especially in lively zones where cars and people are mixing it up like it’s a vehicular flash mob.


Mirrors only tell part of the story – do not change lanes until you look out your windows.

Keep an eye out for sneaky parked cars and their passengers! These cars might suddenly pull out in front of you or have passengers opening doors like they’re playing a game of surprise. Stay cool, drive slow, and be ready to hit the brakes.

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If you’re the one parked, channel your inner superhero: Signal your intention with a blinker, conquer blind spots, and look over your shoulder before you hit the road. After all, with great parking comes great responsibility!

School Zone

Here’s an easy way to help you remember school zone rules:

SituationAction to TakeProfound Reminder
Within 500-1000 feet of a school with children outsideSpeed limit drops to 15-25 mph (check signs)Slow down, kiddos are about! The signs don’t lie!
Crossing guard presentYield to their hand signals/signsThe crossing guard’s in charge! They’re like traffic wizards!
Children & crossing guard on sidewalkYou may drive againGreen light! The coast is clear, but stay in gear!
Crossing guard says you may proceedDrive on!With the guard’s blessing, you’re free to start pressing!

Remember to always drive safely and keep an eye out for little ones around school zones!

School buses

Ah, the majestic school bus, a bright yellow beacon of patience testing! When its flashy yellow lights flicker, it’s your cue to slow down and resist any urge to channel your inner Fast & Furious. Once stopped, the bus’s red lights will flash, commanding all vehicles (yes, even you) to hit the brakes – whether you’re tailing the bus or facing it head-on. So, take a deep breath and embrace the pause – it’s school bus zen time!

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Trolleys and Buses

School buses are like big yellow turtles, flashing yellow lights mean they’re slowing down. Don’t try to race past them, just chill and prepare to hit the brakes.

When the bus stops and shows off its flashy red lights, everybody has to freeze like they’re playing the world’s biggest game of red light, green light. Whether you’re behind the bus or coming from the opposite direction, it’s time to stop and wait. Patience is a virtue, especially around school buses!


Always remember to be patient and give pedestrians the right of way!

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SituationDriver’s ActionSilly Reminder
Pedestrian crossing the streetAlways yield, slow down & stopPedestrians rule, drivers drool!
No light, stop sign, or crosswalkStill yield & let them crossSurprise! Let them walk, you’re not a hawk.
Backing out or pulling into a drivewayYield to crossing pedestriansBe a star, yield to those who walk afar.
Pedestrian with a white caneStop 5 feet before the crosswalkWhite cane in sight? Give them extra light!
Elderly and children crossingAllow extra timeTake it slow, let the wise and young ones go.

Around Other Vehicles

When joining the “traffic stream”, follow these concise tips:

  1. Wait for a space that’s half a block on city streets or a full block on highways.
  2. Check mirrors, blind spots, and use your blinker when leaving a parked position.
  3. Keep an eye out for children, adults, and cyclists – they can appear suddenly.
  4. If you spot a toy or ball in the street, always expect someone to follow and be ready to stop.

Stay sharp and cagey when merging, and glide into traffic like a safety-conscious swan!

⚠️Keep a safe following distance, unless you want to be a permanent part of the car in front of you! ⚠️

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Sharing with large vehicles

When dealing with large vehicles like semi trucks, remember they have slower acceleration and deceleration, and more blind spots. Here are some concise tips:

  1. Avoid blind spots: If you can’t see the driver in their mirrors, they probably can’t see you.
  2. Keep in mind their limited visibility: They see less than you in a standard vehicle.
  3. Be cautious on downhill slopes: They might speed up accidentally due to heavy loads and size.

There you have it. Steer clear and keep it clever when cruisin’ near colossal cruisers!

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Standard blind spots for large vehicles

Keep these concise tips in mind when driving near large vehicles:

  1. Room to roam: They need 800 feet to halt at 55 mph. Sudden stops? Not a fan.
  2. Follow from afar: Give ’em space so they can spot you too.
  3. Overtake with flair: Retreat a bit, then swoop in for a smooth pass.
  4. Stick to the right: Stay there when trucks approach to dodge sneaky side swipes.
  5. Mind the blinkers: Trucks might swing-and-sway to turn. Keep an eye on those signals.

Changing lanes

The vehicles that are in the lane you are navigating into have the right of way. First, turn on your blinker to let other vehicles know you want to change into an adjacent lane, then check your mirrors to see if you have space to enter the lane, then check your blind spots. Only then may you change lanes. 

Funeral processions

If you see a line of vehicles that are led by a hearse and that usually have small flags attached to the front side windows, this is called a funeral procession and they do not yield to you, even if you would usually have the right of way. It is not okay to pass, cut off, or get in front of the vehicles in the procession. 

Mountain Roads

If the road is narrow and you see an oncoming vehicle, the vehicle coming uphill has the right of way. You can either pull to the side of the road to allow them to drive past you, or back your vehicle up the hill to allow them to pass by. Drive as close to the right side of the road as possible, even if you do not see a vehicle coming, especially toward the top of a hill or near a curve. When near a curve, assess the road quality sharpness of the curve, and visibility and adjust your speed. 

You may use your headlights on narrow, winding, or mountain roads during the day to increase the odds of other drivers seeing you. 

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Cyclists ain’t just Tour de France wannabes; they’ve got the same rights (and rule-following duties) as you motorized roadsters. They can zoom on streets, spin turns, and overtake fellow pedal-pushers or even cars! So, as a driver, keep an eye out for ’em and don’t forget those fancy hand signals (yup, the ones from that dusty ol’ manual) they’re throwin’ your way.

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When passing a bicyclist, give them a large amount of space (at least a three feet gap) which often means your vehicle will enter into the lane to your left. As long as the lane is a passing lane, you may pass the cyclist. 

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Remember, bicyclists have rights just like vehicles. If you need to make a turn and there is a cyclist in front of you or in that area, you must yield to them by getting behind them as you prepare to make your turn. If there is a bike lane and you need to enter it in order to make a turn, wait until you are 200 feet away from the turn before entering the bike lane. If there is a cyclist in the bike lane, yield to them. 

Be alert to any indication that a bicyclist may swerve out in front of you or fall in front of you. 


  • Do not pass a motorcyclist in the same lane – always use an adjacent lane to pass. 
  • Follow a four-second following rule if a motorcycle is in front of you (we covered this earlier… Do you remember?). 😁
  • If you are parked on a street check for motorcycles before opening your door and before pulling back out into traffic.
  • When at an intersection, specifically look for motorcycles before you turn. Do this because they are smaller than cars and can be easily overlooked. 

Slow-moving Vehicles

These include golf carts, scooters, wheelchairs, neighborhood electric vehicles, road maintenance vehicles, farm tractors and animal-drawn carts. This type of vehicle may only be able to travel up to about 25 mph or may not be able to speed up or slow down well or quickly. 

  • It will display an orange and/or red triangle on the back of the vehicle to let you know the vehicle may not be able to reach full speed quickly or at all. 
  • You may pass following standard road rules. If the lane is not a passing lane and a line of vehicles forms behind it, the driver of a slow-moving vehicle is required to pull into a turn out area, yielding to traffic, and allowing drivers to pass before returning to the road. 

Low Speed Vehicles (LSV)

These are neighborhood electric vehicles and low-speed vehicles that do not exceed 25 mph. If you see a sign that says “NEV Route” or “NEV Only” then be aware you will be sharing with vehicles that cannot accelerate the way yours can. 

Animal-drawn Vehicles

If you see a buggy with a horse or horses pulling it, you must give it ample space and you may pass it following road rules. If you see a person on horseback, slow down, give it ample room, and pass with extreme care. It is a traffic offense to scare, intimidate, harass, or attempt to “stampede” the animal or animals. 


Yield to oncoming traffic and always enter going to the right. Below is a visual aid that demonstrates how to turn right, proceed straight, turn “left,” and perform a “U-turn” in a roundabout – the last two are very different from traditional methods. 

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If there are two or more lanes in the roundabout, the rule is that the lane furthest to the right will turn and sometimes turn and go straight, the lane furthest to the left will go around the circle and sometimes go straight. Look for signs and observe how the arrows are painted on the road to know which lane(s) you can be in.


Enter a highway by taking an on-ramp and being prepared to either speed up or slow down, depending if there is a quick opening in traffic. The goal is to match the speed of those on the highway to ensure a safe merge. Cars already on the highway have the right of way. You need a space that is about 4 seconds between vehicles to be able to smoothly enter a highway. If you are already on a highway, let vehicles onto the highway by slowing down slightly or by safely changing lanes. 

Use your blinker for at least 5 seconds when maneuvering lanes, entering or exiting a highway. 

Once on a highway, or a two-lane street, keep to the right lane and only use the left lane to pass other vehicles. If there are three lanes going in the same direction on the highway or street, use the middle lane to drive in, the left lane to pass in, and the right lane to exit the highway or turn right in. 

Highway driving is full of uncertainty. Regularly check around you and look further ahead than you would on other streets.

To exit a highway, change one lane at a time to get into the exit lane. Next, take the exit ramp and do not cross the white chevron lines. Be very aware of your speed after you exit. A misjudgment in speed can cause an accident.

If you miss your exit, simply go to the next exit. If you have a car emergency on a highway, use your blinker, pull over to the side of the road onto the shoulder (try to be 200 feet from traffic at least) and call for help. 

Emergency vehicles

Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars always have the right of way and you must yield if any of these have their lights on and/or sirens on. Simply move out of the way to the closest shoulder, curb, or side of the road facing the direction you are going and safely stop. Pull all the way through an intersection before you stop. 

  • If someone is pulled over on the side of the road or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road, maneuver into the lane next to yours (if that lane allows traffic going in your direction) and proceed on your way. 
  • If you see amber lights flashing on a tow truck, emergency vehicle, or a Department of Transportation vehicle, it is required by law to move over to a lane away from the vehicle, if another lane is there.  
  • You may not follow or be behind within 300 feet of an emergency vehicle with lights flashing or sirens sounding. 
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If you are pulled over:

  • Use your blinker and get to the side of the road. 
  • Put your vehicle in park. Roll down your window. 
  • Stay in your vehicle and allow the officer to approach you. 
  • Do not make sudden moves and keep your hands where the officer can see them (on the steering wheel). 

Traffic breaks

This is where a police vehicle is used as a physical barrier on the road. 

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A traffic break allows the police to control traffic in the event of an emergency or traffic accident further down the road. This gives the medics and other police time and space to handle the crisis without the added dangers of vehicles driving by. 

  • Put on your flashing lights and slow to a stop well in front of the traffic break. 
  • During a traffic break, the hand signals, signs, words, and traffic commands of the officer(s) in charge of a traffic break overrule standard road rules. 
  • Once you are allowed to drive past the traffic break, standard road rules apply.