Driving Tips: How to Be a Better Driver
If you passed your driving test and got your driver’s license, that means you know the basic of how to drive—what to push, pull of turn to get to where you’re going. But like any other skill, your driving can always get better. In fact, the better driver you are, the safer you and your passengers are. To become a better driver, some people take defensive driving courses. But if that seems a bit too costly or time-consuming, there are little things you can learn to do and make habits of on your own that will help make you become a better driver and improve your driving experience as well as other people’s.
Here are a few driving tips you can follow to improve your driving skills:
1. If a police officer stops you, be polite and cooperative. The police are not your enemy; they’re just doing their job like everyone does. And most police officers are not out to make your life miserable by giving you ridiculous tickets for minor offenses, either. If you are being pulled over for something minor, being nice could cause them to let you off with just a warning.
2. Never try to “beat the light”. “I think I can make it” are unfortunately some of the most famous last words out there. If the light turns yellow and you have enough time and space to stop safely, do it. Attempting to squeeze past endangers you, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and the two minutes you might save are just not worth the risk.
3. Use your turn signals properly. The reasons turn signals exist is to warn other drivers about what you plan to do, and that’s why you have to use them early enough to allow them the time to react. A few seconds is usually pretty fair.
4. If a driver is waiting for a break, it is courteous to let him into traffic. Suddenly slamming on your breaks in an attempt to be nice, however, is unlikely to lead to anything nice at all; fender benders are a popular consequence of such “niceties”. Remember that the drivers behind you are not expecting you to just stop suddenly, so be sure to be as considerate towards them as you want to be to the poor sap attempting to turn into traffic.
5. Never lose focus. No matter whether it’s caused by fatigue, loud music, a phone call, or anything else, losing focus even for a moment while operating a large piece of powerful machinery while on a road full of numerous other pieces of such machinery is extremely dangerous. Keep your eyes open at all times, and keep music quiet enough so you can hear potential signs of trouble, like sires or shouting, in enough time to react.
6. Keep in mind that trucks are difficult to maneuver. Trucks are enormous, clunky vehicles, so they can be difficult to turn, back up, or even stop. Avoid remaining next to a truck for any longer than you have to in traffic, and keep in mind that is it very likely that the driver does not see you very well.
Becoming a better driver does not necessarily require a special course. It does, however, require care and perseverance from you, and a commitment to creating new, better habits and then sticking to them.