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Serving Up Tickets for the Worst Road Etiquette [Video]

As the winter holidays approach, many people will be driving to visit friends and family. Such a busy travel season warrants extra caution, and the statistics in our latest video will help you know exactly what kinds of poor driving etiquette to watch out for on the road:

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Common Driving Infractions

Did you know that 92 people die in car crashes every day? It's a sad truth, but also a strong reminder about why our driving laws are in place.

Some of the most-ticketed driving infractions include running a red light, exceeding the speed limit and (knowingly or unknowingly) having mechanical issues that make your vehicle a danger to yourself or others. Speeding tickets alone exceeded 40 million in 2014, which resulted in more than $6 billion in paid fines. However, this is probably a good thing, considering that one-third of all traffic fatalities are related to speeding.

In terms of misdemeanor tickets served, the most common are for driving infractions like texting while driving, hit and run accidents and excessive speeding. Texting and driving, especially, is a distracted driving practice that has warranted a lot of awareness recently. With more than 3,300 people killed as a result of distracted driving in 2012, it's no wonder.

When you text while driving, the average amount of time your eyes will be off the road is five seconds. Considering the speeds at which you could be moving, those five seconds could mean the difference between a fun holiday trip and an expensive accident or ticket. The cost of a ticket for texting while driving ranges from as little as $20 to as much as $10,000, depending on the texting laws and fines in each state. A good rule of thumb - just don't do it.

Poor Road Etiquette is Unsafe

Poor driving etiquette, like spontaneous and erratic lane changing, tailgating other drivers and illegal passing are not only rude, but also incredibly unsafe. 56% of fatal vehicle crashes are caused by one of these three bad driving behaviors. Being an aggressive driver makes you a bad driver because you're not thinking about the safety of your passengers or the other vehicles around you. In fact, aggressive driving kills 1,500 people each year.

Keep your temper under control while driving, and remember that all of the drivers around you are trying to get to their destinations, too.

Manners for the Road

If you're unsure of what constitutes good and bad driving etiquette, here are a few unspoken rules of the road that you should definitely be aware of:

Don't drive slowly in the passing lane. The left-most lane is known as the passing lane. It is to be used for passing other vehicles, which are traveling more slowly than you. If you are driving with the speed of traffic or slower, you should remain in the right-hand lane. If you drive slower than the speed of traffic in the left lane, you could cause an otherwise non-aggressive driver to become somewhat aggressive, which is dangerous.

Don't forget the courtesy wave. When another driver allows you to merge in front of them, good driving etiquette says you should give them a "thank you" wave. After all, you'd want someone to do the same for you if you took the time to let them over, right?

Merge correctly using the zipper merge. If you're merging onto a highway or out of a lane that is closed ahead, the zipper merge is a good driving practice. Basically, instead of holding up traffic to merge right away, you should wait until your vehicle is closer to the end of the merging lane to get over.

Pull over for funeral processions. Yes, it may take a few extra minutes out of your day, but pulling over for a funeral procession is just common driving courtesy. Friends and family have lost someone close to them; the least you can do is let them pass with out disrupting the procession.

Don't drive in other's blind spots. Try to remain aware of other drivers' blind spots, and avoid driving in them for longer than a few seconds. Even if another driver checks their mirrors before changing lanes, there's a good chance they won't see you if you're in a blind spot, which could easily result in an accident.

Let police correct poor driving. If someone else's driving strikes you as exceptionally bad, don't take it upon yourself to tailgate the driver until you can confront them. That could be grounds for harassment charges. Instead, if you feel someone is driving unsafely, call your local authorities and report the vehicle's license plate to them, possibly along with the road the person was driving on and in which direction they were headed. Especially if you suspect the driver is intoxicated, this is a much safer option than trying to correct the person's driving yourself.

There are many poor driving practices that can endanger our own lives and the lives of others. At the very least, they are grounds for a traffic ticket. Be aware of poor driving etiquette and take the proper precautions, and your holiday travels this year will be safer and ticket-free.

What are some other driving etiquette tips you think more motorists should follow? You can tell us in the comments section below. 

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Comments

Huge Pet Peeve: If you come upon someone pulling out of a parking spot, stop and let them pull out - DO NOT try to edge around them while they are pulling back. If you are behind someone pulling into a parking spot, give them time to completely pull AND straighten out.

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