In today’s world, cars are everywhere. In order to be safe, you can’t just pay attention to what is directly in front of you, you have to also be aware of the other traffic that surrounds you and constantly scanning for erratic drivers. These are five simple steps you can take to driving improvement, and keep yourself and others safe on the road.
Keep your Distance
One of the most common accidents people get into is from one driver rear ending another driver because he or she did not keep enough space between their cars to stop safely. When driving, you should make sure to stay at least 2 to 4 seconds away from the person in front of you. By keeping this distance, you will have enough time to safely come to a complete stop if the car in front of you should suddenly brake or stall. This is especially good advice to follow in poor weather conditions, such as snow or rain, where the roads can become slippery and extra time to stop is necessary. Keeping this distance will also give you time to make a lane change without causing a traffic backup if necessary.
Do Not Attempt to “Beat the Light”
A lot of people joke that when approaching a changing traffic signal, the yellow light means “go faster” when that is anything but true. Other drivers as well as pedestrians expect you to begin to stop, and be at a complete stop by the time the light turns red. Many people have been killed by people attempting to “beat the light” when they should have been ready to stop. It is not worth it to put yourself and others in harm’s way just to save a minute or two. When the light turns yellow, slow down and stop safely.
It is important when driving to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Check your mirrors frequently and pay attention to what is happening around you, not just what is directly in front of you. The more focused you are, the better you will be able to anticipate what the other drivers around you are going to do. Always expect the worst, and never assume that other drivers know what they are doing. This will keep you driving defensively and you will become a much safer driver by thinking that way.
Don’t Drive Drowsy
According to a survey taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 62% of adults reported driving while drowsy and 27% admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel! This causes an estimated 100,000 auto accidents each year. When you are tired, it is hard to stay focused on your surroundings and what you are doing. Similar to the effects of alcohol, your reaction time is slowed and your judgment becomes impaired. This makes the “always expect the worst” part of Improvement Number 3 that much more important!
Don’t Drink and Drive
This should be a no-brainer, but nobody who wants to improve their driving should ever get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after you have been drinking. Even one drink can slow your reaction time down. One of the ways to be a safe driver is to avoid collisions whenever possible. Additionally, when you drink and drive, you greatly increase your chances of getting into an accident. Your judgment slows down along with your reaction time, and that can prove to be a lethal combination.
These are just a few tips to help your driving improvement skills, and be safe on today’s busy roads. If you don’t already practice these tips, take the time to do so and see if you notice a marked improvement in the way you drive. Remember that your driving improvement is also an auto insurance rate improvement. Remember you can even get free online car insurance quotes to see if you can save money.