It’s hard to drive. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With just a little bit of preparation, you can learn to become a better driver and make driving experiences better for yourself and everyone around you. Here are six tips to help you out on your journey toward driving perfection.
6 Tips for Becoming a Better Driver
1) Slow Down
Slow down and don’t try to keep up with the guy in front of you. Your ability to react is diminished when you’re going too fast, so it’s better to take your time on the road. Not only will you be safer, but you’ll also save gas.
2) Turn off Bluetooth
Keep your phone in the backseat so that you’re not tempted to take or make calls. Plan your route before taking off, and don’t rely on GPS. Don’t forget to check your mirrors before switching lanes or making a turn. Always signal when changing lanes or turning, and always scan the road ahead of you, checking for pedestrians and other cars. And never drive while distracted by eating, drinking, chatting with friends, etc.
3) Stay Focused on the Road
Stay focused on the road. Watch for cars, pedestrians, and other obstacles. Use your signal lights to indicate your intention to turn or change lanes. Keep enough distance between you and the car ahead of you so that you can stop safely if necessary. Be aware of speed limit signs so that you do not drive over the posted speed limit.
4) Avoid Distractions
Keep your eyes on the road and only take quick glances at your phone or other passengers in the car. The moment you stop looking ahead, your brain will start scanning the environment around you which could cause you to miss something important. Avoid distractions in the car by turning off any unnecessary electronics (including music) and putting away anything that could distract you from driving or make it difficult to reach controls such as food, drinks, or pet leashes. It can be tempting to keep an eye on what’s happening outside of the car but this is not safe.
5) Wear Your Seatbelt
This may seem like the most basic step but a lot of drivers forget to do it. Make sure that you are always wearing your seatbelt. Not only will it ensure you don’t get fined, but it keeps you safe and secure on your seat in case of any accidents.
6) Know When You’re Tired
The first step to becoming a better driver is to know when you’re tired. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s time to take a break:
- Difficulty staying awake
- Inability to focus on driving
- Unusual irritability or mood swings
- Headaches or other pain in your neck, back, or other parts of your body
- Lack of concentration and judgement
If you find yourself feeling these symptoms for more than an hour at a time, get off the road. You need rest and some food before you can safely drive again. Make sure that you’re always getting plenty of sleep so that your body is well rested and ready to go on long drives during the day. If you’re going on a long trip, it’s best not to start out when you are too tired. Plan ahead by taking breaks and getting some rest, or stopping over at an inn or hotel before continuing on the road again.