After driving for a few years, many begin to grow comfortable behind the wheel—sometimes too comfortable. Driving often becomes second nature, and being so relaxed about driving can cause people to forget just how heavy and dangerous a car is. While it is important to be confident behind the wheel, being too laid-back can lead to driving errors, which could lead to a car accident.
There are simple ways to become a better driver in an effort to retrain yourself to be as focused and alert as you were when you first got your license.
Take Car of Your Car
Being a better driver begins with auto maintenance. If you do not take car of your car, such as neglecting to get the engine serviced, oil changed regularly, brake pads replaced, or fixing a cracked windshield, you could unintentionally be putting yourself and the cars around you in harm’s way.
Be proactive about taking your car in to be serviced properly. If your windshield cracks, use a company like Scottsdale mobile auto glass. Keep a mileage record so you know when your car needs an oil change. If your brakes do not feel like they are working as well as they once did, do not hesitate to have them checked, otherwise you could put yourself in a dangerous situation.
For years people have been taught that driving at ’10’ and ‘2’ on the steering wheel is the appropriate and safe way to handle the car. However, recent research has shown that driving with your hands at that position is actually not as safe as driving at either ‘9’ and ‘3’ or ‘8’ and ‘4.’ Driving with your hands lower on the steering wheel actually gives you more control over the wheel, thus giving you more control over the car and how it handles. In fact, many find this to be far more comfortable than driving with their arms and hands at the high ’10’ and ‘2’ position.
Learning how to be a better driver means focusing more on the road and less on distractions. Now-a-days, there are more distractions than ever for drivers. From the radio to the GPS to cell phone use, there are many things that can keep you from being focused on what is in front of you.
One of the biggest causes of accidents is cell phone use, as texting while driving, making a phone call, and even looking up traffic stats can keep your eyes off of the road. Even if you are just glancing down for less than a second, you could miss a vital sign on the road or change in traffic that could lead to an accident. Some states have banned the use of cellphones when driving, ticketing for those who are caught texting or talking on the phone. Many new cars now have the capability to hook up to your cellphone, allowing you to use your phone through the car’s dashboard, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel at all times.
Most cars come with blindspots, which can make it difficult for you to see certain cars when changing lanes or backing out of a parking spot. Adjusting your mirrors to ensure you can see past your blindspots can help you feel more secure when driving. Additionally, there are extra mirrors you can invest in to help you see all areas of your car, which are particularly helpful for large cars when changing lanes.
For those who are comfortable driving, it is easy to start driving faster than the speed limit without really noticing how fast you are actually going, especially if you are keeping up with the flow of traffic. However, speeding not only puts you in a position to be ticketed, it also can make you more vulnerable to a traffic accident. When going so quickly, if traffic were to suddenly come to a halt, or if you were to run a red light because you could not stop in time, you are putting not only yourself but others in a dangerous situation that could have been avoided had you been going the appropriate speed.
These driving tips can truly help you become a better and safer driver.
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