Almost everyone who knows how to drive has come across some issues on the road. Maybe there was a fallen tree blocking the way, and you had to wait for it to be removed. Maybe another car swerved and you had to act fast to avoid them. Maybe you’ve just seen one too many fellow drivers not wearing their seatbelts. No matter how long you’ve been behind the wheel, you like to think you’re a lot safer than those around you.
But are you really? Being a safe driver is a great life skill to have under your belt, and it’s one we come to grips with the more and more we drive. But at the end of the day, how much of a safe driver do you think you currently are? Have you picked up any bad road habits since you passed your test? Let’s think about this below.
Do You Know When You’re Safe to Drive?
Of course, we all know that driving while drunk is a big no no, but are you aware of the other times in your life when driving should be the absolute last thing on your to-do list? There’s a few out there.
There’s a lot of mistakes you can make behind the wheel, but there’s certain moods, times of day, and feelings that increase the chances of these. Say you’re on an all night drive back home after a weekend away – could you make it all in one go? Or should you have some stops along the way, to make sure your lethargy isn’t getting the better of you? Not only that, but the risk of having an accident is 3 times greater when you’re driving at night, so it might be all the better for you to leave your journey until the morning.
If you’re someone who has a cold currently, should you try driving? If there’s a very good chance you’re going to be sneezing and sniffling the whole way to your destination, you might want to give the experience a miss. After all, sneezing takes our eyes off the road, and needing to reach for a tissue every two minutes is going to be a very effective distraction.
How Easily Distracted are You?
Speaking of being distracted, would you say you’re someone who gets distracted as easily as a goldfish? Maybe you get into your thoughts when you’ve got a stretch of road out in front of you, and your reaction times slow down as a result? Maybe you like taking friends out for drives with you, but all their talking and laughing has a real effect on how much attention you pay to your vehicle surroundings?
No matter what distracts you behind the wheel, it’s something you need to work on. After all, you need to have your eyes on the road and your mind on it as well, and even singing along to the radio might have caused you to miss a speed limit or take a bit too long to stop at a light before now. Being aware of how you react when there’s a distraction in the car is key – you can better prepare to cope with them, and you have the chance to to remove them entirely.
Have You Taken the Time to Practice?
It’s been a while since you were in driving school, and passing your test was a sign of freedom from all the rules and restrictions an instructor imposed on you. After all, no one is as careful a driver as they were when they were learning, and it’s only natural to evolve your own habits and methods for getting from A to B safely and effectively.
But have you had a good amount of practice along the way? The more time you spend using a steering wheel, the more experience you gain as a safe driver. You know the pressures the car responds to, you know the weather conditions you’re best at navigating in, you get used to having background noise and being able to block it out… It’s obvious: the more practice you have with driving, even when you have nowhere to be and no need to be in the car, the better a driver you’ll be. Don’t underestimate this idea.
Being safe behind the wheel takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, and the vigilance of a hawk whenever you’re out on the road. Make sure you’re using tips like this to your advantage.