It’s easy to see why vehicles are the powerhouses of the road — most people choose a vehicle as their primary mode of transportation. BUT, as the captain of your car, it’s your duty to act responsibly behind the wheel. Drive like your family is in the car, in the crosswalk or on the bicycle next to you! Learn more about safe driving here.

Avoid Distractions

Whether you’re texting, eating, putting on makeup or fiddling with the radio, distracted driving is dangerous driving. Pay attention to your surroundings and keep your eyes on the road. And don’t forget – texting while in control of a vehicle is illegal in Alabama. Even texting while stopped at traffic signals can earn you a ticket.

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

Courtesy Wisconsin Bike Fed

Contrary to popular belief, right-of-way at crosswalks isn’t determined by how intimidating your vehicle is. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are already within a crosswalk or in the midst of crossing the street at an intersection.

Turning at Intersections with Crosswalks

Courtesy PEDS © 2008 PEDS

Checking for oncoming traffic isn’t enough when turning at intersections. We are often so focused on whether our lane is clear of other vehicles that we don’t notice the bicyclist coming up behind us in a bicycle lane or the pedestrian stepping off the median or sidewalk. Always check your blind spots before turning, and keep a close eye out for pedestrians who may be crossing the street.

Traffic Circles

In a traffic circle, vehicles should always move to the right. Yield to traffic that is already within the traffic circle, as they have the right of way. When making a left, drivers should continue around the outside of the circle staying with the flow of traffic. Make sure to use turn signals to notify other travelers when you are exiting. Though they may seem confusing, traffic circles are designed to make intersections safer for all vehicles!

Slow Down

These two simple words can pack a huge punch. Slowing down is one of the simplest ways to make the roads safer for you and everyone else on them. Obey all posted speed limits no matter where you’re driving, and consider driving under the speed limit if the weather is inclement or road conditions are poor.

Practice Safe Passing – Give 3 Feet

In the City of Auburn, drivers must leave a safe distance of 3 feet or more when passing a bicyclist. Put yourself in the bicyclist’s seat—a few feet can mean the difference between riding confidently and fearing for your life. Practicing safe passing not only makes our roads safer but also shows respect to your fellow travelers.

Don’t Block the Intersection

As drivers, we sometimes get in a hurry and act impatiently, wanting to move forward a mere 10 feet even if we’re still stuck at the same traffic light. This impatience often leads to blocking the intersection, which is illegal in the City of Auburn. Blocking the intersection prevents your fellow drivers from being able to navigate and can endanger you and others around you.

Passing School Buses/Transit

There are different laws regarding passing school buses and transit buses, but one rule always applies- use caution! State of Alabama traffic laws require drivers to come to a complete stop for yellow school buses that are loading or unloading passengers and forbid drivers from passing until the bus has completed loading or unloading, except in a divided highway. In Auburn, you may legally pass a public transit or Tiger Transit bus as long as you don’t cross a double yellow line. But proceed with caution! Watch for riders entering and exiting the bus, and remember that pedestrians within a crosswalk have the right-of-way.