What do you think whenever you trigger an auto ignition? It’s a dangerous piece of machinery you have there, right?
Sadly, most car accidents we experience today are not really “accidents” in the real sense, but fatal collisions brought about by the reckless driving of some “autopilot”. And while some offenders are usually under the influence, sometimes it’s just a matter of poor driving skills.
Whether you’re a pro driver or a learner who just received a licence, there’s always something you can do to get better behind the wheel.
Below are 10 important tips that can help you hone your driving skills.
Go back to the basics
Most of us get too comfortable as we get older on the wheels. We soon forget all the simple good practices we had to keep in order to pass our driving tests.
If you want to be stay on top of your game, then you have to learn how to keep the basics.
Signal before you change lanes or make turns, obey the traffic light even if you’re the only one on the road, and so on. These practices are not only good, they represent the law.
Ditch distractions and don’t just fix your eyes forward
While driving, ditch every distraction to look away from the road. This is not the time to eat, text someone, or pick a call. Remember, you have somewhere you are going and that should occupy your mind.
Also don’t just look straight ahead, check the rear-view mirror frequently to take note of the other vehicles around you.
Set your mirrors right
It’s very important to know how to adjust your mirrors the right way.
It is not a good practice to set your side mirror for an edge view of your vehicle since a rear-view mirror is already provided for that purpose.
Instead, focus the side mirror away from the edge and the passenger mirror away from the vehicle side. In other words, the side mirrors should be adjusted in a way that they just overlap the rear-view mirror.
This way, the number of blind spots you are exposed to will be greatly reduced.
Stay away from high beams
High beams are to be avoided for the simple reason that they can put you in the dark for a while. And there’s nothing more dangerous than having to recover from a brief period of blindness in the night.
So make sure you look away from beams. Instead follow the edge line on the right side of the road.
Also keep your beam low especially when driving away from the highways.
Don’t keep a close range
You probably heard it from somewhere before-“maintain a distance of two car lengths from the vehicle in front or behind you”. Well that isn’t bad. But at the same time, a little extra caution won’t be bad.
You can double on the length (which is equivalent to eight seconds) even on very busy roads. This will ensure your car has enough time to come to a stop when you suddenly apply the brakes.
Take another driving course
You don’t have to wait until you become a senior before take another driving course.
No matter where you are on the track, there are many advanced driving courses out there that can help you improve your driving skills especially on the defensive side.
Some of these courses can even be done online which even makes it all the more convenient.
Take safety seriously
Before you get comfortable behind your wheels, it’s advisable to take some time to study the safety features of your car.
Learn how to use most of the key components especially those you frequently engage while driving and also try to understand their limitations.
Know how to merge lanes
One of the frequent causes of heavy traffic jams and accidents is inefficient lane merging. Most of us make the wrong turns and often make the situation worse.
When turning left, make sure you use the S-turn manoeuvre.
Master the turns
Roundabouts often present a lot of challenges for inexperienced drivers, especially those in the midst of moving traffic or when there are no traffic lights or signs to control the movement.
Believe it or not, roundabouts are not difficult to navigate. They are simpler than you imagine. You just need to know how to do it right and fast too.
Check your sight
While some people quickly notice a deficiency in their sight as they age, others do not.
So it’s very important to do a vision test every once in a while as you get older even if you don’t use glasses. Usually, the test can be done once in every 3 years as you advance in age and then annually once you are past 60.
An impaired vision can cost you everything.
Written by Kaya Johnson