Navigating the road can be tricky.
It’s hard enough to drive with other vehicles…
What about the different vehicles, like bicycles and motorcycles, trucks, etc?
Or what about pedestrians?
This is why, here, we’re going to talk about the South Carolina rules of the road.
In other words, we’ll show you how to share the road with more unusual vehicles.
This way, you can be a better and safer driver.
So let’s get started!
How to Share the Road with School Buses
You should be extra careful when driving alongside school buses.
This is because, whenever it stops, there’s a high chance children will cross the road.
So when you see these vehicles on the road, here’s what you need to do:
- If the school bus starts flashing red or amber lights, that means they are about to stop. When it stops, the driver will put out a stop sign.
- Vehicles traveling in the same direction have to stop when the flashing lights are turned on. Vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are also required to stop unless they are traveling on a multi-lane road (with four lanes).
- If you are driving on a two-lane road, everyone is required to stop.
- You can proceed when the red flashing lights are turned off and the stop sign is kept.
- Even if there is no school bus, always be alert for crossing children in school zones.
Now, remember that stopping behind a school bus is a law.
If you break it, that can lead to a fine of $500 and 30 days in jail.
How to Share the Road with Pedestrians
Drivers have to be extra careful with pedestrians all the time.
Because, let’s face it, even if there are crosswalks, some people will still cross the road out of nowhere.
So when there are pedestrians, remember these tips:
- Always yield when people cross the road.
- If there is a crosswalk, you have to stop at the line before the crosswalk. Also, never block, stand, or park at the crosswalk.
- Keep an eye out for visually impaired pedestrians. They will often walk with a cane or a guide dog. Always yield to these pedestrians and make a complete stop a few feet away from them.
- When turning, always check if people are crossing. Prepare to yield the right of way even when the traffic sign is green.
- Check for pedestrians when backing up. If there are people, let them pass first before backing.
- Be extra alert when you are in a school zone or a park. Slowing down will also help you stop easily if there is a child who will cross suddenly.
How to Share the Road with Bicycles
Did you know that bicycles are considered vehicles in South Carolina?
You have to respect them just as much as any other vehicle.
But we know that bicycles are a bit trickier to share the road with. This is why now is a great time to brush up on some road rules when they’re around:
- Bicyclists might swerve to avoid potholes or bumps on the road, so it’s best to give them space to maneuver. Don’t drive right beside them.
- Although they are considered vehicles, you have to yield to bicyclists in intersections.
- Do not drive, park, or stop at a bicycle lane.
- Do not suddenly stop or slow down when there is a bicycle behind you. Their brakes may not be strong enough to stop immediately.
- Avoid honking at bicyclists unless necessary. Honking may startle the bicyclist, which may cause them to go out of balance or swerve.
- If you have to turn, let the bicyclist go first. Do not turn in front of a bicyclist.
- Bicyclists are required to use hand signals, so always pay attention if they’re trying to tell you something.
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Like bicycles, motorcycles are vehicles — only much smaller and only have 2 wheels.
So when driving with a motorcyclist, make sure to do these things:
- Give them the full width of the lane. Do not squeeze them to the side.
- If you need to pass, pass as if you’re passing a regular vehicle.
- Be aware of your blind spots. Motorcycles are relatively small, so they may be difficult to see when they’re beside you.
- Look carefully at your sides before making turns.
- If there are lights blinking, do not assume that the motorcycle is making a turn. These lights don’t self-cancel, so there’s a possibility that the driver may have forgotten to turn it off.
How to Share the Road with Commercial Vehicles
Okay, let’s move on to the larger vehicles.
Because of their size, commercial vehicles have bigger blind spots – found in the front, the back, and the sides of the front row.
These vehicles also have a harder time stopping or making turns.
So follow these safe-driving tips to avoid colliding with commercial vehicles:
- Make sure that you are seen on the side mirrors of the truck. Don’t linger in the truck’s blind spots.
- If you need to pass, pass quickly while maintaining a huge distance when you go back to your lane. Do not suddenly cut them off.
- Increase your following distance because trucks take longer to stop.
- If a truck is turning, give them space. Do not try to squeeze in between the truck and the curb.
- If you’re in the other lane where a truck is turning, move to the side. Trucks usually need 2 lanes to turn.
- If a truck is approaching from the opposite direction, keep to the right of your lane to avoid a side-swept collision.
How to Share the Road with Emergency Vehicles
Always stop and yield to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and blaring sirens.
This is South Carolina’s Move Over Law.
To do this, quickly but safely move out of the way or on the side of the road if the emergency vehicle is in your lane.
For one-lane roads, drive quickly and pull over at a nearby establishment to make way for the emergency vehicle.
How to Share the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles
Slow-moving vehicles are marked with a reflective orange triangle at the rear.
These vehicles are often construction equipment or animal-drawn vehicles.
Slow-moving vehicles travel less than 25 mph, so it can be a test of your patience when you’re driving alongside them.
The good news is that you can always pass them as long as you’re careful.
Here are other tips to remember:
- If it’s an animal-drawn vehicle, avoid honking at them. Animals may get startled by the noise.
- Make sure that the vehicle in front knows that you will be passing. Avoid speeding up when you pass them.
- Watch for tractors or farm equipment when you’re in rural areas.
That was the South Carolina rules of the road.
Now, you’re equipped with all the know-how of sharing the road with uncommon vehicles.
The next thing for you to do is practice these tips and obey the laws when you’re on the road.
If you’re unsure of what to do, you can always yield the right of way, especially when you’re driving alongside pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
But if it’s school buses you’re driving with, make sure to stop when it stops. And only go when it goes.
As for emergency vehicles, move over to let them pass.
Following all these tips and laws will make you a much safer driver.