Driving is a wonderful skill that provides freedom to see new places and to spend time with friends and family. Whether you are a well-traveled driver with years of experience, or a new driver, there are steps you can take to be a better driver.
Tip #1: Make sure your car is roadworthy
A key part of being a good driver is knowing that your automobile is safe to operate. Properly maintaining your car not only helps ensure safe travel, it avoids mechanical failures. Have your car’s brakes, tires, and other systems checked by a skilled technician to ensure operational safety.
Tip #2: Be in good condition to drive
Let’s face it. Life doesn’t stop when we are not at our best. But before getting behind the wheel, make sure you are in good condition to drive. Avoid driving when you are overly-tired, emotionally upset, or after you have been drinking. Instead, consider asking a friend for a ride, or use a service like Uber or Lyft.
Tip #3: Practice courteous, defensive driving
In a world where everyone is in a hurry, courtesy on the road can be hard to find. Make it your mission to be a courteous and defensive driver. Take a moment to properly adjust your mirrors. Yield the right of way at intersections. Use signal indicators to let other drivers know your intentions. Observe posted signs and speed limits. Use caution when changing lanes, passing other vehicles, or merging into traffic. And always drive for current conditions. Dry roads on a clear day offer a different driver experience than traveling over wet or snow-covered roads. Night driving can also present unique challenges. Adjust accordingly.
Tip #4: Maintain a safe following distance
One of the best ways to avoid minor collisions and major accidents is to maintain a safe following distance. Riding too close to the car in front of you reduces reaction time and diminishes your ability to stop suddenly. Increase the amount of space between you and the next car to decrease the chance of a collision.
Tip #5: Don’t drive distracted
Cell phones and other digital devices are meant to aid our travel. Unfortunately, these same devices can present enormous distractions when we take our eyes off the road to answer a call or check a text message. Innocent lives are needlessly lost due to distracted driving. Do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor — ignore your mobile devices while driving.
Being a safe driver is a worthwhile pursuit. Whether you are new at the wheel or have been driving for decades, the next time you get behind the wheel of a car, take a moment to consider what you can do to ensure a safe driving experience for you and the other drivers with whom you share the road.