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Think You’re A Good Driver? Think Again

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October 4, 2020

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If you are fortunate to know how to drive, then you know that there is a level of respect that you must have for your newfound skill. It’s not just you, either, it’s the other drivers on the road. Everyone had to be aware of how to drive carefully, or they’re going to end up in an accident or watching their car spin off of the road - which is definitely not ideal. Being a driver, you need to pass a test and someone has to assess your competency on the road. You can be a model student when you’re learning, but there are some bad habits that do tend to creep in later on. Usually, this is a result of being lazy about the way you handle your car, and you can often think that you’re an excellent driver, even when you’re not.

Getting behind the wheel of a car is a huge responsibility. You are responsible for ensuring that you are driving sober, alert and confidently, and you are responsible for making sure that you are healthy enough to be driving in the first place. When you’re learning to drive, you find out pretty quickly if you need glasses, and this website can be the best place to buy new glasses to match your new prescription if you do need them. Glasses are the accessory you need to make sure that you are as safe as you can be on the road, and you’re a much safer driver with them than without. There is every chance that you are on the road every day to get to work, or visit friends and family, and other drivers think you are an awful driver. But how will you know? How can you tell you are not safe to be on the road?

Let’s go through a few signs that your driving is definitely not up to scratch, so that you can learn and get better with it instead of continuing to be a danger on the road. You may even notice that there are some bad habits you’ve succumbed to without even noticing. Let’s take a look!

1. Your Parking Is Sloppy

Everyone finds parking difficult at first, particularly reverse parallel parking. However, there is no excuse to leave your car parked at an angle, nor is there any reason to be up on the pavement or on anyone else’s driveway. You need to be considerate - we talked about respectful driving, well, parking is part of that. If you cannot park safely and neatly, find somewhere else to park or take a course and get better at it. There is no shame in learning how to do it, even the seasoned drivers can stand a refresher course or two!

2. Get Off The Clutch!

When you’re driving a manual vehicle, it’s very easy to slip into the bad habit of keeping your foot on the clutch at all times. You need to use your foot as a brace, and you only need the clutch if you’re changing gears. If you’re not changing gears, get off the clutch. If you keep your foot on the floor, you’ll not slip into the habit of using the clutch while you drive. Instead, you’ll train your leg to get off it and you’ll stop the clutch from wearing down prematurely. This is a good way to save some cash as you go!

3. You Brake Too Hard

Have you ever been in the back of a taxi and the driver has hit the brake far too hard? That’s known as a taxi stop, and if you’re braking too hard and your passengers are flying forwards in their seats, then you need to stop - gently. You need to learn to touch the brakes gently when you’re driving so that you can keep everyone comfortable and stop flinging yourself forward. Not only that, but braking too hard can indicate to other road users that there is an emergency situation that you are braking for, when there isn't one!

4. Touching The Gear Stick

There is nothing smart about keeping your hands on the gear stick when you are driving. It’s too tempting to change gears when you don't need to. However, you want to be a safe driver and that means getting your hand off that gear stick and keeping it on the wheels. You don't react to changing driving situations by changing gear, you do it by using the wheel and the brakes. Get your hands back onto the steering wheel where they should be, and stop touching the gear stick in between changes.

5. Frequently Stopping While Driving

The driver who isn't observing the road is a dangerous one to be around, and if you are constantly touching the brakes and stopping unnecessarily on the road, not only are you putting yourself in danger, you’re going to upset every driver behind you! You’re going to waste money spending on replacement fuel pads and brake pads on their replacements, too. Stopping without valid reason implies you’re not paying enough attention to the road, and that doesn't make you a good driver at all!

6. Palming the Steering Wheel

When you were learning to drive, it’s likely you were taught to hold the steering wheel at “ten to two” so that you had control over the car. The thing is, the advice has changed and you should be holding it at “quarter to three” so that you have better control. You shouldn't “palm” the wheel while you drive, either, by hooking your hands inside the lower rim and using that to steer. Using one palm and spinning the wheel as you reverse is also a no-no, as you won’t be in the proper control of the car. If you want to be a safe and conscientious driver, then holding the steering wheel the safe way will help you to drive properly and avoid injury when you are driving. The airbags can go off and cause you an injury if you’re not careful enough, and the wheel will help you to keep the car level.

You Don't Adjust To The Climate

You could be an excellent driver, but if you don't adjust the way that you drive in colder or hotter weather, you’re not going to be a good driver anymore. You have to adjust your technique for driving when the driving conditions around you change. Icy and snowy roads make for slippery ones, and it’s these roads that will cause an injury if you’re not concentrating enough. You need to make sure that you’re warming the engine in colder weather, so that it’s lubricated and easy to drive. It’s not easy to drive in harsher conditions, and it’s even harder if you’re not adjusting to the new conditions to drive in.

8. You Drive Bumper To Bumper

There is nothing cosy about being up the butt of the car in front of you. A good driver understands the importance of distance, and if you want to be a good driver, then you need to back off and make sure that you are able to see that distance between your car and theirs. Too close, and you’re more likely to go into the back of them if they have to emergency stop for whatever reason. You need to be able to see any issues from a distance so that you can adequately prepare. You also need to see an optician if you cannot see the car in front without being bumper to bumper.

9. You’re Often Surprised

A mark of poor observation is being surprised by things that you should be able to see and anticipate coming. You should not be surprised by anything when you’re driving, so you need to learn to observe the roads properly and avoid having an accident as a result. Observing the world around you when you drive doesn't mean reading a magazine while driving. It simply means knowing what’s going on in your surroundings and adjusting as you need to. You should never be shocked or surprised by things around you when you drive. Instead, you should feel prepared!

You’re Regularly Distracted

If music and your phone are distracting you, switch them off and stop using them when you drive. It’s illegal to use your phone while you’re driving, as it puts everyone on the road in danger around you. You should be focusing on nothing but the road ahead of you and your own driving technique. Good drivers know not to use things that will distract their concentration away from the road.

The worst thing that you can do as a driver is ignore the criticism from anyone giving it to you. If someone has told you that you are doing something wrong, then you need to evaluate your skill as a driver and be better next time. You need to identify the issues and make your driving skills your priority. Brush up on them all and make sure that you’re not another statistic. You should be proud to have passed your driving test, so respect the road and be the sober, alert and healthy driver you should be.

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