By Gail Marsh
“Drive Friendly.” This was the sign that greeted me as I entered Texas for my first real job. Huh. Back then I appreciated the sentiment but now, as an RVer, I wish every state had the same idea.
RVers are some of the friendliest people. In my experience, they are always ready to lend a hand, greet you with a smile, and share stories of their travels. It’s hard to imagine, but sometimes these same friendly people stop being friendly once they hit the road.
How can RVers “Drive friendly”? Here’s how:
- Know your route. Use Google maps or another map option to plot your trip and familiarize yourself with your route before you go.
- Check all lights before you begin traveling (headlights, taillights, turn signals, emergency lights). Hint: Some RVers prefer driving with headlights on, even in the daytime.
- Stay in the right lane except to pass, or to allow another vehicle to easily merge into traffic from the on-ramp.
- Signal well before you make any turn or change lanes.
- Use emergency blinkers if you are moving slowly (up a steep grade, for example). Check and make sure using your hazards is legal in the state you’re in. Here’s a guide.
- Avoid frequent lane changes.
- When traffic is heavy, do not enter an intersection unless you can fully cross it.
- Pay attention! If you want to view the scenery, stop. Park in a safe place and give yourself time to take in the view.
As with much of life, attitude makes a difference. According to the American Psychological Association, angry drivers tend to run red lights, speed, switch lanes quickly, and tailgate. When driving an RV these overly aggressive actions can mean real trouble.
If you’re feeling stressed or upset, take a deep breath, and remember: You are the lucky one. You’re the one who gets to travel. You are the one who gets to see new and interesting places and things. Today is a great day simply because you are an RVer! So drive friendly!