Home New Year’s resolution: Virginia DMV suggests being a courteous driver

New Year’s resolution: Virginia DMV suggests being a courteous driver

Crystal Graham
aggressive driver gesturing
(© perfectlab – stock.adobe.com)

Christmas is now in the rear view mirror, and it’s time to start making New Year’s resolutions.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles encourages drivers to include being a courteous driver in their list of resolutions.

“One of the best things we can do to keep our roads safe is to remember that we share the road. Being a courteous driver isn’t just about being kind, it’s about staying safe,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey. “Something as simple as remembering to use your turn signal, following at a safe distance and looking out for pedestrians are easy habits to create and they can help you avoid a crash. Being a more courteous driver is a simple change that goes a long way to keep Virginias roads safe for us all.”

Virginia statistics: 2023 to date

  • 23,021 crashes where drivers were following too closely
  • 1,537 crashes involving pedestrians
  • 539 crashes involving cyclists
  • 130 crashes involving a failure to signal or improper signal

Tips: Be a courteous driver

In an effort to prevent crashes, DMV shares some small changes you can make to be a safer and more courteous driver in the new year.

  • Remember not to cruise in the left lane. The left lane is intended to be used for passing. Once you have passed another vehicle, please move back to the middle or right lane to keep the left lane open.
  • Don’t follow too closely. Always follow at a safe distance to allow yourself time to react.
  • Always use your turn signal when changing lanes. Making sure other drivers are aware of a change in your path ensures they have time to react and can help avoid a crash. Don’t forget to check your blind spots too.
  • Remember to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists. We share the responsibility to keep vulnerable road users safe. Be especially careful when turning at intersections and when driving in heavily populated areas.
  • Move over. It isn’t just courteous, it’s the law. When you see emergency vehicles, road maintenance, motorist assistance vehicles, or vehicles on the side of the road with their hazards on, safely move over to provide space and proceed cautiously.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.