Do you commute to work? Is driving the primary way that you get around? Maybe you even drive as part of your job or are a manager ensuring your drivers get around safely.
No matter why you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, whether a small car or a big semi-truck, it’s crucial to follow all rules of the road. All drivers need to learn to drive defensively and keep themselves and others safe.
Of course, accidents can always happen because you can’t control the weather or the actions of others on the road. Still, you can be a safer driver yourself and reduce your risk of getting into a collision. To help you be as safe of a driver as possible, this guide is filled with some valuable tips.
Tip 1: Get Back To Basics
Whether you learned to drive a year or 30 years ago, it’s easy to forget everything you were taught about driving a vehicle. While you likely remember many things, it’s easy to forget a few of the rules. So, for the average driver on the road who isn’t operating a commercial vehicle, it’s essential to get back to the necessary safety tips you learned when getting your license, such as:
- 3-second following distance: Always keep at least three seconds between yourself and the other vehicle in front of you. However, you should increase this distance if road conditions are more dangerous or traffic is heavy.
- Proper scanning: As you drive, it’s vital to scan your surroundings. While you should primarily focus on the road in front of you, you should also check your rearview mirrors, all three of them, every five or so seconds. This is especially important when you’re turning or switching lanes.
- Correct driving positions and posture: The way you drive also matters. While driving, you should be in an outright, alert position with your right foot on the gas. You should also keep your hands on the outside of the steering wheel, with one on each side, slightly above the middle.
Tip 2: Stop Multitasking
One of the most dangerous things you can do while driving is multitasking. Distracted driving is risky to you, your passengers, and other drivers. So, while it can be tempting to focus on other things, it’s vital that you don’t.
This applies to being on cell phones while driving, but distracted driving extends to many other behaviors, too. You should also avoid messing with the radio too often, putting on makeup, or eating if it’s too distracting for you.
Tip 3: Learn The Basics Of Your Car
While many safe driving tips focus on what you do while actually driving, it’s also essential to know a bit about your vehicle before you get behind the wheel. Review the owner’s manual to learn the basics and understand what various symbols mean, especially any lights that might turn up on the dash.
Also, when driving, ensure you carefully monitor what your car feels and sounds like. This way, you’ll understand the baseline of how the car runs, and you’ll notice any changes that may be impacting the vehicle’s performance.
Tip 4: Stay Calm
A final safe driving tip to keep in mind is staying calm. It’s easy to get riled up or frustrated. Maybe you’re running late, or another driver cut you off. However, you’ll be safer if you keep a level head. Emotional driving puts everyone on the road at risk.
With these tips, you’ll be set to drive more safely than ever before. What other driving tips would you share with others?