11 Safe Driving Tips for Beginner to Expert Drivers
With all the distractions of the road and the general fast-paced speed of life, tips for driving safe can be easily forgotten while on the road.
Let’s face it, driver’s ed seems like a lifetime ago and we don’t drive with our hands on 10 and 2 like we’re supposed to.
But becoming a better, safer driver is easier than you might think. These 11 safe driving techniques can help you stay safe, avoid accidents and make the road a better place for you and the neighbors driving next to you!
1. Avoid Distractions
When you’re driving, distractions are everywhere. Your phone is the most major distraction, so make sure you put it away when you’re driving anywhere — even if it’s just down the road. Putting it on drive mode can also make sure you’re not tempted to touch it while you’re on the road.
Life can get pretty hectic and we’ve all had those days where we feel we’re behind the clock. Then we stop for a little fast food and contemplate eating it while driving.
It’s extremely dangerous to eat and drive because our focus is on the food instead of the road. Don’t do it! Pull into a parking spot and take a few minutes to chow it down before continuing on your way.
2. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead will save you the trouble of potential speeding tickets and unnecessary wrecks or scares. By adding five to 10 minutes between activities (to account for heavy traffic, other wrecks on the road, or hitting every red light along the way), you’ll give yourself enough time and create a sense of patience to get safely to wherever you need to be.
3. Drive the Speed Limit
We know, we know. Ever since you began your driver’s ed course in your mid-teens, everyone has been telling you not to speed. Well, for good reason. Speeding is not only dangerous to your wellbeing, but it also makes you a hazard for other vehicles as well.
Speed limits are there for a reason and it’s important to abide by the posted mile-per-hour limits for a safe trip. Driving isn’t a race, it’s a destination from A to B. Driving the speed limit will ensure that you get there as safely as possible.
4. Control the Road Rage
We’re not saying you have a case of road rage at all, but we know there are wild drivers out there that do things to annoy other drivers. Don’t let them get under your skin. If you get cut off in traffic, take a few deep breaths, just keep your cool and keep driving safely!
5. Check the Weather
Keeping an eye on the weather before you have to drive will help you prepare for potentially dangerous road conditions. If you can drive at a different time to miss a rain or snowstorm, do so. If you can’t, it’s important to know what you’re up against so you can prepare yourself and your car accordingly.
6. Wear Your Seat Belt
While wearing your seat belt may not make your immediate driving better, it’s one of the best safe driving tips out there because it helps to prevent serious injury from occurring if you’re involved in a wreck. There’s a reason all cars come equipped with seat belts nowadays, and wearing one is as easy as “grab and click.”
7. Adjust Your Mirrors
As soon as you sit in your car, without beginning to drive, it’s important to make sure your side and rearview mirrors are in the proper position to capture items in your blind spots. This will drastically increase your vision on the road and substantially reduce the chance of getting into an accident because you didn’t see another vehicle.
8. Get Plenty of Rest
Drowsy driving is very dangerous, so don’t do it! Getting plenty of rest before driving, especially long-haul trips, is one of the best safe driving tips that exist. It’s easy to do and absolutely free, so make sure you’re not driving tired.
If you’re driving a long distance by yourself, pulling over at the nearest rest stop for a 20-minute nap can be the difference between arriving safely and getting into an avoidable accident.
9. Leave Some Space
Nobody likes a tailgating driver. They’re annoying (and appear closer in the mirror than they actually are). You need to leave yourself adequate space between you and the car in front of you just in case something happens that halts traffic.
Leaving adequate space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you is especially important if you’re driving in inclement weather. If the roads are slick, it could take twice as long to stop as it would in dry conditions.
10. Watch Out for Other Drivers
Focusing on your own driving is important, but you must also be aware of your surroundings. When you’re merging, check all directions for speeders who don’t use blinkers trying to fit in the same spot you’re vying for.
Paying attention to the flow of traffic will help you to spot slowdowns or complete stops ahead, giving you plenty of time to adequately break and prepare to slow or stop. Watching out for other drivers is one of the best defensive driving tips and techniques you can receive.
11. Maintain Your Vehicle Properly
When you’re considering the tactics of how to be a better driver, you must first consider the vehicle you drive. Do your tires have enough air in them? Do your windshield wipers work properly? Have you gone over the mileage for your next oil change?
Answers to the previous questions can be the difference between driving safe and causing a hazard on the road. If your windshield wipers don’t work properly, it’ll be tougher to see in rain and snowstorms.
If your tires are over- or under-filled with air, they can blow out more easily, causing debris for other drivers and a dangerous outcome for you.
If you take these 11 safe driving tips and abide by them, you’ll become a safer driver and make everyone around you safer as well.
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