Be polite & practise proper car lane etiquette

Reflection of driver in side mirror

Reckless lane changing habits are a major cause of road accidents in the UAE, not to mention bad manners. Some motorists have caused serious side-impact damage and even massive traffic pile-ups with poorly timed swerving or lane changes. Don’t be a part of this problem. If you’re unsure about proper car lane etiquette, take a look at our outline of the traffic laws governing lane changes.

In the UAE, reckless lane changing has been cited as one of the top ten causes of accidents and traffic fatalities. While some of the drivers are naturally careless based on their driving habits from back home, others are unaware of the traffic rules regarding switching lanes.

Besides, adopting specific lanes for buses and trucks, the UAE has stiffer penalties to ensure that drivers adhere to lane etiquette. Motorists who change lanes without indicating will face a penalty of AED.400 and earn 4 black points. On the other hand, those who swerve suddenly will now have a fine of AED.1,000 and earn 4 black points issued against them. Any driver who fails to observe both traffic laws will have AED.1,400 fine and 4 black points. On the other hand, drivers of heavy vehicles who do not practice lane discipline will face a fine of AED.1500 s as well as 12 black points.Motorists who drive in the lanes meant for heavy cars will have AED.400 fines.

The Dos of Lane Changing

Lane etiquette cannot only help you avoid accidents, but also prevent road rage which often happens when motorists misinterpret the rules and infringe on the rights of fellow road users.

Switching lanes the right way begins even before you start your journey. You have to check that your mirrors are well positioned so that you can see the cars on your sides and behind you. This will ensure that any move you make does not put your fellow motorists at risk.

It is important to only change lanes when it is absolutely necessary. For instance if you need to give way to an emergency vehicle or if you want to drive by a vehicle that has broken down. Also, you can change lanes when you need to overtake a driver who is extremely slow as driving below the speed limit is a traffic offence fineable by AED.400.

When switching lanes you need to be very cautious and conscious of the other vehicles around you. It is important that you observe traffic behind and adjacent to you. Of course it goes without saying that you should always switch lanes from your left side and must never overtake using your right side- also commonly referred to as the hard shoulder. If you are changing lanes along the broken lines then you should wait for the drivers from the lane you want to merge into to give you way because technically they have the right of way. In addition, you must indicate to show other motorists that you intend to switch lanes so that they can accommodate you.

Ultimately, you must ensure that you have the permission from the other drivers before merging into the new lane. In some cases when you switch lanes recklessly you are bound to grate the nerves of your fellow motorists and cause road rage. This and unnecessary road carnage can be avoided by following the above tips on lane etiquette.

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