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Convoy Etiquette

Driving in a convoy is a fun way to travel amongst your fellow car enthusiasts as it shows the power and strength of your group, gives a larger presence to your ventures, and gets attention going down the road. Having a good time and pulling off a successful and safe drive involves common sense behavior and driving etiquette that is kind to both your fellow travelers and the other people on the road.

1. Headlights On

This is how the rest of the world knows what is going on. It's also protocol and law in some states. Your lights on enable you to see your brethren and know who is with you. If someone pulls off the road in trouble they are easier to identify in the rear view mirror. Best of all it really looks cool.

2. Don't follow too close

When in a convoy keeping good distances is a must for safety as well as an act of kindness to the car you are following. Your cars are special and worth a lot of money so don't risk them. Utilize the 4-5 second rule of following as a basis.

3. Allow other traffic to intermingle

Instinctively, people in a convoy don't want to allow other cars to merge into the line. You must allow other drivers to move in and out of your convoy. Other drivers usually are intimidated or in awe of the spectacle and need to be given extra consideration. Be patient in letting them find their place and pass them if necessary if they settle in a bad spot. You can actually be ticketed in some states for not allowing the free flow of traffic through your group. You want other drivers to say, "Wow that was neat". Be a friendly convoy.

4. Lead car should keep speed reasonable.

This is hard. It is all too easy to let the speed creep up. When you have a diverse group of cars or participants, there will be people who think it's too slow and others who say you are going too fast. Try to stay with the flow of other traffic. This reduces the need for constant lane changes and passing, making the drive safer for the group.
Also be sure to allow for flexibility if a few people want to stop. If your convoy is 20 cars or more this may be difficult. The catch up time required for a ten minute stop is one hour at 10 mph faster than the group is traveling. People can get discouraged or upset at loosing the group. If the pack is already moving significantly faster than traffic or the speed limit it only compounds the issue.

5. CB Protocol

Talking on the CB in a convoy is half the fun. You must however respect the requests of the convoy leader when they ask the group to temporarily stop chatter for logistical reasons. Often as the group is departing or arriving to a location, the air must be open for leaders to relay important messages, directions, reports or warnings. Only one person can talk at a time on a CB channel.
Choose a channel for your convoy that is clear of other radio traffic. Odd channels like 3 or 4 work well in most parts of the US. Stay away from 15,17,18, 19, 21 and others used by truckers - they wont appreciate you. Channel 9 is for emergencies only.
Lastly, keep the language "G" rated. It is the law, although there really aren't any radio police anymore. It is a courtesy.

6. Lend a hand

Out on the open road you need to depend on one another. This is supposed to be fun. If a fellow traveler is having a car problem - help them. Nobody wants to be left behind, especially in a group setting such as a convoy. Your act of kindness could be the cement that builds a life long friendship as well as story to tell.

7. Have your car in order

Tied to the last item, be sure your car is up to the drive. Get the car checked out. People may take heroic action to rescue you should you have trouble. But, if event after event you are always the one with a broken car they will tire of your presence. Be sure that if your car is highly modified that it can endure driving all day without engine failure (read highly-strung race motors). If your car depends on parts that are hard to find in Nowhere, USA, bring extras.

8. No horseplay

Drive like an adult. Goofing off or speeding to show off is bad for the whole group. That wipeout can take out a couple of your friends cars and injure or kill them. Your speeding could attract unwanted attention from the law that can sour a whole convoy outing. After all, convoys can be ticketed as a group in some circumstances if the officer is mad enough with you.

9. Take it easy

Sometimes not everything goes as planned. Participants in a convoy usually have pretty high expectations and are loaded with anticipation of the day's events. It is important to stay focused on the trip at hand and be able to relax when things get hectic, people get lost, or traffic snarls throw you off schedule.

10. Be respectful of the Leadership Team

Dovetailing on the last item, if you as a participant have suggestions or issues with the way things are going with the event it is important for you to share this directly with whom ever is in charge. Do this in a respectful manner, preferably in private. To broadcast in a group setting can be divisive and could disrupt the good aura of the event. In most cases, event leaders want to hear your concerns and will take action to resolve them if you are sincere.


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