If you think back to the day that you passed your driving test, you are likely to be a much different driver now. Arguably, you’re more confident behind the wheel and know what you are doing more. You have experience behind you and will have faced more varied situations out on the road. But we all make mistakes when we are driving. Confidence and experience can bring with it some complacency which can make you slightly lazier than when you will have first passed. And that, coupled with a few other circumstances can lead to an accident; your fault or not.
So here are some common mistakes that we all make as drivers. Are there any that resonate with you? The worrying thing is that we don’t always know we’re making them.
Have you ever had a feeling of getting home, pulling up in your driveway, and can’t really think about the journey you’ve just made? We are on autopilot so often when we drive, that we get distracted, sometimes with just our own thoughts, and before you know it, you’ve driven home. There are, of course, plenty of other things that distract us. Children in the car, our phones, street signs, or just the radio. An awful lot can happen when we look down to adjust the radio for only a matter of seconds. So to avoid collisions, you need to make sure that you’re focused on your driving. Pull over if you have to do something like make a phone call. You don’t want to cause a crash.
There are some pretty shocking facts, that Derrick Law Firm personal injury cases could attest to, that nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. It is also reported that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. So don’t be the person that adds to those statistics.
Not Making a Plan
If you don’t have any idea where you are going, or plan a route really last minute, then it can be a mistake. Having an idea of where you are going, which route to take, traffic conditions, and how long it should take you is important. If you don’t know any of these things then it cause you to panic as you drive, quite possibly rush and make mistakes, which are all more likely to lead to an accident. So plan your trips in advance, especially if it is to somewhere unknown.
When you use your indicators on your car, then it does just that; it indicates your intentions to others. If you don’t use your indicators then how are people going to know which route you should take? It can be dangerous to yourself but also to other drivers. If you need to change lanes or turn off, then knowing that you might be braking soon is helpful for other drivers. So use your indicators when you have any kind of manoeuvre to make. You can’t just presume that people know what you are going to do.
Not Using Mirrors
Like with your indicators, you need to be using your mirrors regularly. You can’t just put your indicator on to change lanes without checking if there is room for you to do so. But for drivers that have been passed for a while, the old ‘mirror, signal, and then manoeuvre’ mantra gets forgotten pretty easily. One of the biggest things that we miss when we aren’t checking out mirror is cyclists and motorcyclists. They can suddenly appear and if we haven’t noticed them, then it can lead to a pretty bad accident. So keep checking your mirrors every few seconds, it will make you a much safer driver.
Now, not necessarily something that you do when driving, but something that you don’t do is preparation for driving. And that is making sure that you’re hydrated. You might find it surprising to hear that even just a small percentage drop in hydration can affect your level on concentration quite massively. So if you are rather dehydrated, then it is going to affect your driving much more than you think. Take stops to drink water if you are going on a long journey, and make sure that if you drive a lot in your regular daytime routine, then make sure that you are drinking plenty of water during the day. It will keep your hydrated, fresh, and feeling more alert.