Driving is always something that can be improved, but how can you do that to ensure you are a consistently safe driver?
There is not one reputable driver in the UK who believes their driving style needs improvement!
Everyone believes they are a safe and responsible driver, and this may be the case. However, there are always improvements that can be made when it comes to driving and improving on the skills we already have.
Driving is a skill, and it is a skill that should evolve as you continue through your driving life. Just like your driving style would change in response to an incident or avoid an accident, your driving skills also need to amend and adapt to the environment you are in and as road rules and trends change.
Accidents and incidents occur when drivers have different driving styles, lack of concentration, lack of skills, or are simply unsafe. So it is always appropriate to improve your driving skills where possible to ensure you are as safe as can be.
Here are some practical tips for how to improve your driving that you can adopt to make you a safe driver.
Keep Your Distance
As we become set in our driving ways, we get complacent in areas such as the correct and safe distances between cars.
In dry conditions, drivers should keep a 2-second gap between their car and the vehicle in front. In wet conditions, this should be doubled at least.
In icy conditions or where visibility is severely reduced, this distance should be as much as possible in case of having to stop in an emergency.
Distance is significant for keeping people safe on the road. The most adequate space allows you the time to react to anything ahead or beside you and then action that reaction, either in an evasive or emergency way.
Clean Your Vehicle
This may sound ridiculous, but having a clean car will actually help with your driving!
If you have ever been past a lorry in the wet weather and it has kicked up lots of mud from the road onto your windscreen, you will understand what we are saying.
Having a car with clean mirrors and clean glass will make your driving better as you have complete visibility instead of looking around dirt splashes and splats of mud.
Psychologically, if you have a clean car that is well maintained and you take pride in driving it and looking after it, you will automatically drive more cautiously, so this is always worth investing in a car wash for!
We all know that holding a mobile phone while driving is not only a careless thing to do when driving, but it is also illegal, and for a good reason too.
Immersing yourself in anything that isn’t the task at hand is incredibly distracting to your mind, as you can only think of a few things at once. Driving takes a lot of concentration, and removing any of that concentration can result in an incident or accident.
Make sure that if you have a mobile phone in your car, it is hooked up to a hands-free kit, only use the call functions when necessary, and never drive while texting or even touching your phone.
Improve Your All-Round Vision
Driving can be hazardous enough, especially with the blind spots and not being able to keep your eyes everywhere all the time.
Installing an in-car camera can really help to improve the visibility of those areas of the car that you cannot see, thus improving the overall driving visibility and driving situation.
In-car cameras can also be used to view inside the vehicle to increase your visibility in areas behind you, which can alleviate you physically turning your head to look at something in the back of the car.
Take An Advanced Driving Course
While we are not necessarily looking to advance your driving and add to your qualifications, we are looking to improve your driving skillset and road user knowledge.
Taking a driving course that is a step above and beyond the standard UK driving test is something that everyone can do to refresh and update driving skills, laws, and driving techniques to make you a more conscious and attentive driver.
Rest When Needed
Driving when tired is estimated to cause more than two-thirds of all accidents that occur on UK roads every year. It is such a huge consideration when it comes to driving safely.
Tiredness affects all of the thought processes, mechanical movements, and information signals that run inside all of the pathways of your body, so when you are tired, everything slows and is delayed, including decision making and reactions.
It is far safer to stop and rest mid-journey than to not complete the journey at all, so make sure that you recognise tiredness and acknowledge how it can drastically improve your driving.
Being a safe and mindful driver is something that everyone should aspire to be, and taking some straightforward and practical steps to become a better and more experienced driver is never going to be a bad thing!
With all of the accidents and incidents, there are on UK roads every day of the week, we should always be looking towards the little things we can do to make sure our driving is the best it can be.
We can’t always account for the skills, experience, or concentration of other drivers on the road.
Still, as long as we hold ourselves accountable for the things we do and the things we do not do, as well as our actions in our own driving, we can do everything possible to make extra sure we are the best driver we can be. For more information, visit magazine for all