California Driver Handbook - Important Driving Tips
Safe driving requires personal responsibility to use sound judgment, reflexes, experience, and common sense—every time you are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Another important element of safe driving is courtesy. Be courteous at all times!!!
Small changes in your driving habits can help relieve chronic traffic congestion, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Avoid the following driving behaviors:
- Rubbernecking–slowing down to look at collisions or virtually anything else out of the ordinary.
- Tailgating–following too closely.
- Unnecessary lane changes–weaving in and out of freeway lanes.
- Inattention–eating, grooming, talking on a cell phone, text messaging, reading the newspaper, etc.
- Operating a poorly-maintained or malfunctioning vehicle or running out of fuel.
Aggressive driving and road rage happens when crowded roads, rushing, and impatience cause one driver to react angrily to another driver. To avoid aggressive driving and road rage situations:
- Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Do not cut off other drivers.
- Do not drive slowly in the left (fast) lane.
- Do not tailgate.
- Do not make gestures to other drivers.
- Use your horn for emergencies only.
Prevent a potentially violent incident by:
- Avoiding eye contact with an angry driver.
- Giving an angry driver plenty of space.
Take the questionnaire below to determine the type of driver you are.
It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communication device to write, send, or read text messages, instant messages, and emails unless you are 18 years of age or older and using an electronic wireless communications device designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation to dictate, send, or listen to text-based communications when operating a vehicle.
NOTE: With certain exceptions, adults may not use a cell phone while driving unless hands-free equipment is used. Minors may not use a cell phone except in certain emergencies (refer to the “Minors and Cell Phones” section for additional information).
Cell phones can be a lifesaver in emergency situations. Use your cell phone in the following safe and responsible ways while driving:
- With hands-free devices (except minors).
- To call for help in an emergency.
- If your cell phone rings, do not answer it. Let the call go to voice-mail, if you have this feature.
Do not use your cell phone:
- During hazardous conditions.
- To engage in distracting conversations.