Driving Habits You Should Develop
Being a good driver is not something that automatically happens when you get your driver’s license—all you driver’s license means is that you have a basic understanding of road laws and how a car works. That’s a good start, but there are many other things you should do to make yourself better, and seeing as how driving is a lifelong skill, you have lots of time to continuously improve yourself in that area.
Here is a short list of driving habits you should be trying to develop:
- Before you drive: make sure everything is properly adjusted
- Indicate properly
- Keep your eyes and ears open at all times
- Don’t bend the rules
- Think about how other drivers might behave
The little habits, simple as they are, will help you become a responsible driver and contribute to greater safety on the road.
1. Make sure everything in your car is positioned optimally so as to give you the best mobility and visibility as possible.This includes adjusting your seat to not only make it as comfortable for you as you can, but also to ensure that you have as much control over the steering wheel, gearbox, pedals, etc. as possible. All three of your mirrors should be adjusted as well to make sure you see what’s happening all around you, and your seat belt head restraint should be fitted to your body. Lastly, make sure that your passengers are safely seated, with children being strapped into their own special seats if their age/size requires it.
2. Always look before you indicate and give everyone a fair warning before you make any move. You should indicate for about 5 seconds before pulling out of a curb, three before turning, and two before beginning to change lines. Indicating before you start braking is another important thing to keep in mind.
3. Make sure you always know what’s happening around you. This means avoiding distractions at all costs, be they phone calls, interactions with other passengers or loud music. Scan the road around you constantly, and slow down if you can’t quite see what’s happening several cars ahead of you. Slow down and look both ways at intersections even if you have right of way. Look over your shoulder before changing lanes to make up for any mirror bind spots.
4. “I think I can make it” are some of the most famous last words in existence. Amber lights mean slow down, not speed up, so if you have enough time and room, you should always do so. The speed limit is what it is for a reason, so always keep slightly under it. Actually stop at stop signs, don’t roll towards them, even slowly.
5. Even if you’re a good and responsible driver, remember that others may not be. So even if you do have a green light, take a quick look to make sure nobody is running a red light straight at you. Stay about three seconds behind the driver ahead of you to have the time to react should he suddenly brake or swerve, and do not react aggressively when shouted at by other frustrated drivers so as not to cause an unnecessary and potentially dangerous escalation. Instead, distance yourself from them.
Making habits of these behaviors or practicing these safe driving habits will help keep you and your passengers safe.