Rules of the Road

At Safety Insurance, we know that every safe driving education includes not just practice but knowledge of driving laws, too. We've included some of the lesser known rules to help you safely share the road with everyone - other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists - and keep yourself and your loved ones safe when you're behind-the-wheel.

Rules of the Road:

  • Always yield to pedestrians entering or using a crosswalk and stop behind the white line
  • Rotary etiquette:
    • Traffic moves in a counter-clockwise direction around a rotary
    • Use your turn signals in the same way as any other intersection: travel through the rotary and, when you are ready to exit, use your right turn signal
    • If a rotary has multiple lanes, look for signs to choose the proper lane. If there are no signs, follow these instructions:
    • For a quarter-turn, or to continue straight ahead, enter the rotary from the right lane, stay in that lane, and exit onto the right lane
    • For a three-quarter-turn or a U-turn, enter the rotary from the left lane, travel through the middle or inner lane, and exit onto the right lane. If coming from a road with a single lane, you should stay in the right lane for the entire turn.
  • Intersections Not Controlled by Signs or Signals
  • You must yield the right-of-way to any vehicle that has entered the intersection from your right or is approaching from your right
  • Look for traffic approaching from the left. Even though you may have the legal right-of-way, make sure that the other driver is yielding to you before you proceed
  • The "right-of-way" is something you give, not something you take. If another driver refuses to yield, always give the right-of-way for safety's sake
  • It is illegal to cut through or disrupt any vehicles in a funeral procession - you must yield the right-of-way until all vehicles in the procession have passed
  • You may not exceed the speed limit when passing
  • On a multiple-lane roadway with several lanes in one direction, you must use the middle and left lanes for passing
  • Passing on the right is only permitted when:
    • The vehicle you are overtaking is making, or is about to make, a left turn
    • You are driving on a one-way street
    • You are driving on any road where traffic is restricted to one direction of movement (such as a multiple lane highway)
  • If you are being passed by another vehicle, you must slow down and stay to the right. Allow the other driver to pass safely - do not speed up
  • What to do when confronted by an aggressive driver:
    • Attempt to get out of his/her way
    • Do not challenge that driver
    • Avoid eye contact
    • Ignore rude gestures
    • As always, make sure your safety belt is securely fastened - it will keep you in control of your vehicle and protect you in the event of a crash

Courtesy of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

For more rules of the road, read The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Drivers Manual.