Forgetful, Stubborn, Just Lazy? Do Great Falls Drivers Need A Refresher In Driving?
Driving in Montana is pretty easy. Not a lot of traffic in our cities, ease of getting across town and pretty simple traffic rules to follow. But after a recent trip out of state and driving under a little different circumstances, I am wondering if our local drivers may need a bit of a refresher course once in a while. Let's check some of the most common ways road rage can come into play as we make our way across the Electric City.
That Dreaded 4-Way Stop Sign Intersection - Who Does What When?
According to Montana law, the following applies to who has the right of way and should proceed when:
When two or more vehicles enter or approach an intersection from different highways, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the right that are close enough to constitute an immediate hazard.
The driver of a vehicle on a highway that intersects another highway without crossing it shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the other highway that are close enough to constitute an immediate hazard.
Hey Pal! Get Off My Rear Bumper!
Another common law breaker is the tailgating type driver. Montana code says that is a no no as well!
Following too closely. (1) The driver of a motor vehicle may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the roadway. MCA 61-8-329
Making A Turn With Multiple Vehicles In Turn Lanes? Stay In Yours!
This is probably the worst experience you can have when making a turn on the outside of the lane on a double turn lane. Stay in your own! Don't swing wide into the adjacent lane! Here is the code to follow:
Required position and method of turning at intersections. (1) The operator of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:
(a) Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn must be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(b) At an intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn must be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line of the roadway and by passing to the right of the center line where it enters the intersection. After entering the intersection, the left turn must be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn must be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection. MCA 61-8-333
Hey! What Does This Little Lever On The Side Of The Steering Wheel Do?
Yes, that one! The turn signal one! Use it! When in doubt, check the code of what the state says we should be doing when wanting to get off the road or street:
Turning movements and required signals. (1) A person may not turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required by 61-8-333 or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety and until an appropriate signal has been given. A person may not turn a vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this section.
(2) A signal of intention to turn right or left, other than when passing, must be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning in any business district, residence district, or urban district. MCA 61-8-336
If The Posted Speed Limit Is At A Certain Number, Drive It!
While conditions will always warrant what speed you should drive, for most applications, driving the speed limit is acceptable. So drive it! It really is the law when keeping up with the flow of traffic:
Minimum speed regulations. (1) A person may not drive a motor vehicle at a speed slow enough to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. MCA 61-8-311
While taking a test to make sure you can follow simple driving laws seems a little excessive, perhaps a refresher type of online course may be the way to go. Have a suggestion or a driving pet peeve I missed? Hit me up with our app available below or you can email me here.
Once you've polished up on some of those lost skills and get back out on the road, we've gathered up 10 incredible road trip songs to make it a little easier on that trip! Check out our gallery below and get cruising now! Just remember to use that blinker!