While Ontario drivers may be bound by the confines of provincial law, driving is an art, not a science. The rules of the road protect us from the weather and from each other. They are the minimal requirements every driver needs to meet to be deemed safe and knowledgeable behind the wheel. However, these rules don’t teach us everything. You may not be tested for these three unwritten rules of decorum, but the Ontario roads will be a safer and more enjoyable place if you learn them.
How to Handle Peer Pressure
If you’re a young driver, it’s very likely you’ll be taking your driving course before your friends. You may become the go-to designated driver of all your school events and social gatherings. We don’t blame you for wanting to step into that role. After all, you just got your licence, which is something to really celebrate. However, there will come a time when you may be pressured to drink, do drugs, or stay out past curfew. On the one hand, you want to please your friends, fit in, and have fun. On the other hand, you don’t want to upset your parents or suffer the consequences of not coming home when you promised.
Peer pressure will eventually find you, and when it does, be prepared to make tough decisions. We can promise you that peer pressure will be easier to handle as you get older. Not drinking and driving sounds like a no-brainer. But when you’re the only sober person at a party and everyone else is having fun except for you, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to justify having “one drink.”
Our advice: find some way to handle peer pressure and to stick to smart and safe decisions. Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege. It’s every driver’s duty to be responsible.
How to Be Decent
You can be a perfectly lawful driver, but still be the world’s most annoying, aggressive, impatient, or tentative driver. All of these attributes, though not exactly illegal can be dangerous or just plain old rude. Being a decent or polite driver is just as important as being a decent or polite pedestrian. There’s nothing that says that you can’t push people out of your way or take up the whole sidewalk or walk at a snail’s pace. But the world around you will move faster and better if you practice an ounce of decorum.
How does one become a decent driver? The nuances of polite driving may come when you’ve had more experience. Common displays of decency include:
- Letting pedestrians cross the intersection before you start inching the car forward.
- Giving drivers a fair amount of space.
- Apologizing through a simple gesture if you make a mistake.
- Avoiding puddles if possible to prevent splashing pedestrians.
How to Avoid Distractions
Our entire lives are at our fingertips. The more accidents that are caused by distracted driving, the more technology is created to prevent it. No matter how many bells and whistles your car has to prevent you from being distracted, we just can’t seem to put our phones away. While this seems to be the most obvious distraction these days, anything that takes your focus off the road is a hazard. It could be the sandwich you’re eating, the music you’re listening to, or a conversation you’re having.
Avoiding distractions is difficult. We aren’t very good at it. However, you owe it to yourself and everyone else on the road to try and limit the amount of beeps, rings, flashing lights, and songs that are coming at you while you’re driving. If your phone is the main culprit, silence it and put it out of reach until you’re no longer driving. If music distracts you, turn it down or turn it off. If you’re engaged in a heated conversation within the car, put a pin in it until you’ve reached your destination.
Schedule your driving course today with Ambitious Drivers and we’ll help you become an excellent Ontario driver.