5 Tips That Will Make You a Better Driver
Some people wrongly assume that the car you drive makes you a better driver. However, it’s the person behind the wheel that dictates whether you reach your destination safely. If you aren’t a confident driver, have road rage issues, or just want to become a better driver, check out these tips.
Take Baby Steps
When you first start driving, there are many stressful situations that arise. One of the best ways to combat this is by taking baby steps. For example, merging at high speeds onto the interstate in heavy traffic proves difficult for many drivers. Therefore, try going during non-peak times and hone your techniques. The same idea goes for any other driving scenario that causes a panic attack. Once you build confidence, you’ll find these situations a lot less frustrating.
Look Ahead and Anticipate
This is one of the hardest tasks for many drivers. However, if you can learn to master it, you’ll become a better driver and lower your chance of an accident dramatically. Make certain that you aren’t looking just at the car ahead of you, but rather several cars in front of you, especially on the highway. During rush hour, traffic can come to a halt with little or no warning, so looking ahead helps prevent a rear-end collision. Anticipation is also important, although much harder to manage. For example, if you see someone behind you weaving in and out of traffic, it’s best to get over and let them pass instead of risking a collision.
Adjust and Check Your Mirrors
One of the most under-used components on your car is the mirrors. Each time you hop in the driver’s seat, make certain to adjust all your mirrors, just to make sure they’re aimed exactly where you need them. Even if you’ve just driven the day before, it’s still important, as you may have bumped the rearview or side mirror when reaching into or exiting the car. Once you’re on the road, check the mirrors roughly once every five seconds. Although this seems excessive, it’s necessary to properly monitor all the traffic entering and exiting the road.
Keep a Safe Distance
Tailgating, obviously, is never safe to do. However, many people still tailgate even though they don’t think they are. The best bet is to maintain a two-second gap between you and the car in front of you. At higher speeds, you may stretch it out to three or four seconds. This gives you time to make split-second decisions if the driver ahead of you slams on the brakes or another situation arises.
Do an Adequate Parallel Parking Job
The hardest part of driving might just deal with parallel parking, especially if you aren’t from the city. Many people can’t successfully pull off the parallel park, and even if they can, they’re so far from the curb that it creates a possible hazard. Remember, practice makes perfect. Also, don’t feel bashful to ask a passenger to get out and help. If you’re really serious about mastering parallel parking, you might buy a car that has a park assist feature.
Becoming a better driver starts with the will to do so. Once you’ve decided that you’re ready for it, follow these tips. It’s the shortest road to becoming a perfect driver.