How do you feel whenever you turn on the engine of your car? Isn’t that a scary piece of machine that can land you into serious trouble if you don’t follow certain rules?
Unfortunately, most car crashes we see today aren’t actually “car crashes” in a true sense, but deadly incidents caused by some poor “autopilot” driving. While certain offenders are typically under some influence, bad driving skills may also be a cause.
Whether you are an experienced driver or a novice with a new license, there is always plenty of things you can do to improve your driving skills so that you don’t put your life in danger on the road. So here in this post, we will discuss some strategies that can help you develop your driving skills.
- Always keep the basic rules in mind
As we grow older behind the wheel and spend more time on the road, most of us get too comfortable. We easily forget about some basic but important rules we needed to keep in mind in order to pass our driver’s license tests. So, you must learn how to keep the basics in order to stay on top of the game.
For instance, if you’re the only one on the route, don’t ignore the traffic lights, signal before shifting the lanes or making turns, and so on. Not only are these activities helpful, but they also represent the law.
- Avoid distractions
Don’t’ look away from the road while driving. It’s not the time for texting, eating, or talking to someone on the phone. Put your phone somewhere away from your reach so that it’s completely out of your mind. Bear in mind that you have somewhere to go and that should fully occupy your attention and if you must make a call, pull over your car and do it.
Similarly, stop changing the CD or radio channel or arguing with your spouse in the vehicle. Minimize distractions when driving to increase your attention on the road.
Additionally, don’t just focus ahead on the road – keep scanning the rear-view mirror as well to check on the other cars around you.
- Adjust your mirrors to cover the blind spots
For a better view of the traffic situation around you, it’s really important to know how to adjust the mirrors of your vehicle the right way. Setting the side mirror to get an edge view of your car is not a smart idea because your vehicle already has a rear-view mirror.
Ideally, you should turn the passenger mirror away from the car side and the side mirror away from the edge. To put it simply, adjust the side mirrors of the car just to overlap the rearview mirror. This would significantly reduce the number of blind spots.
Develop a habit to effectively use these mirrors to keep an eye on the traffic around you. Detecting and avoiding other drivers who are behaving in a dangerous way is the best defense you have against a traffic crash.
- Keep your beam use straight
High beams can completely blind you for a while and their use must be avoided, especially if you are driving on a highway with a lot of traffic. Nothing is more dangerous than trying to recover from a short period of night blindness.
Be sure to look away from the high beams of the other vehicles on the road. Instead, follow the drawn edge line on the right side of the road.
Also, you should use your car’s low beams in order to avoid distracting the driver ahead. Use the high beams only when you are traveling the countryside or away from the city on an open highway.
- Take an advanced driving course
Mostly, we take a driving course in our 20s and then forget about it until we turn 50 or 60. However, traffic rules can change over time and some of us may develop bad driving behavior that can put our lives at risk. Therefore, it would be a great practice to refresh our knowledge and take a driving course after every five or ten years.
Similarly, there are several advanced driver training courses available that may help you enhance your driving skills, especially if you are interested in a defensive driving track. Many of these courses are now available online, making them even more convenient for you.
- Maintain a safe distance from the other vehicle ahead
Maintaining a safe distance from the car that is in front of you is really important for safe driving practice. No one knows if the driver in the front car would hit his breaks or abruptly slow down. Therefore, staying at a safe distance will help stop an accident or a confrontation. Nobody wants a tailgater, and there’s no need to tailgate anyone.
Usually, drivers keep only 0.8 seconds of distance from the front vehicle, which isn’t enough to stop the car if you suddenly apply the breaks. Experts suggest that at least four seconds of space between the two vehicles should be left to avoid a collision.
- Use S-turn manoeuvre to merge lanes
Inefficient lane merging is one of the most common reasons for traffic jams and crashes. Often, many of the drivers take wrong turns that can lead to an unfriendly traffic situation like this.
So, while making a left turn, drivers should use S-turn manoeuvre to merge lanes in order to avoid stressful situations.
- Use a dashcam to monitor your driving skills
Dashcams offer countless security benefits. They can provide footage if you are involved in a traffic accident. Plus, a dash cam can also record evidence to prevent you from insurance fraud.
Alternatively, these cameras can also be used to monitor your driving skills. For instance, watching dashcam footage will help drivers detect the problems and develop driving skills. Also, it can help you park your vehicle safely.
Similarly, you may not be allowed to take pictures and videos with your phone when driving, but a dashcam certainly allows you to capture what’s happening around you.