Driving isn’t a right– it’s a privilege. We don’t always treat it that way, though. All too often, we forget the basic courtesies and finer points of driving. Whether you’re an experienced driver or you’ve just gotten your license, there’s always room for improvement.
Don’t worry. It happens to all of us and we’ve compiled a list of some things you can work on to be a better driver.
Keep your hands on the wheel at the proper position.
Typically, driving instructors teach new drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions. But recently, those guidelines have changed and it’s suggested to keep your hands lower, at either 9 and 3 or 8 and 4. This gives you more control and stability and is the most ergonomic position to hold your hands for long periods of time.
Make some room.
Leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you when you are driving on the highway and leave plenty of space in front of a stopped vehicle.
Adjust your mirrors to cover your blind spots.
Make sure your mirror visibility is optimized for you to see your blind spots. Adjust the side mirrors so far outwards so that they are just overlapping your rearview mirror.
This one can be a hard habit to break and we all want to get to our destination sooner, but speeding really just increases your risk of getting into an accident or getting a speeding ticket. Going the speed limit also helps with gas mileage as well!
Know the best way to merge into traffic.
Inefficient lane merging causes traffic, road rage and accidents. The most efficient way for all of us to merge is to stay calm and zipper merge, with each of us taking our turn. This one works best when all drivers are working together, but the key is to just be patient.
Get familiar with where you are going before you leave.
Distracted driving is dangerous and trying to use your phone for directions or looking at a map can be just as risky as texting while driving. Get to know your route before you leave or set your GPS to give you directions out loud before you leave for your destination.
Keep your emotions under control.
Don’t let rude drivers get under your skin. If someone cuts you off or is tailgating you, don’t provoke them. This will only escalate the situation and could lead to deadly consequences.
The top way to become a better driver is to drive more and to be conscious of our good and bad habits. Keep in mind all of the tips we’ve included and be patient with yourself and other drivers.
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