It seems every time you drive you run into someone who “can’t drive” the problem is many of us do the same things and don’t even realize it, even when they think they are being a safe driver. Anyone with a drivers license knows how to operate a motor vehicle but most forget the simplest things that are a huge no no. Here are a few things that a sixteen year old that just took his driving test knows but like most of us seems to forget within minutes of getting that license.
Everyone is talking about distracted driving and how you shouldn’t be texting and driving. The thing is texting and driving isn’t the only distracted driving we all do. There have always be distractions while driving years ago it was trying to find that one song you liked on your cassette tape( if you’re young you don’t know this pain) or maybe searching for the CD you want to listen to. Now it maybe finding the right playlist on your phone. Whatever the distraction try to limit the time your eyes are not on the road and you aren’t actually focused on the road and cars around you.
There are very few mind readers in the world, which makes me wonder why so many people in the world force people to assume which direction they are turning or if they are going to turn. What I’m getting at is they put turn signals on cars for a reason, people need to use them. It’s not just because there are laws about using turn signals, it’s about being courteous to other drivers. You should use your turn signal any time you turn or change lanes, making sure that you have it on long enough for those around you see it and make adjustments to their speed and following distance to keep you and them safe from any accidents.
Many people have forgotten about following distance. I know we have all tailgated someone at some point time, usually because they are driving too slow and you are in a hurry, however most of the time if you had planned a bit better there would be no need to drive unsafely because someone else isn’t driving fast enough for your need. You should always leave at least 3 seconds following distance. I realize that counting how many seconds you are following behind someone isn’t something a driver usually thinks about so my personal rule is follow far enough behind so that if the guy in front of you hits his brakes while you are looking at anything but him you won’t have to slam on your brakes the second you see his brake lights come on. This simple idea would prevent many accidents and lots of pissed off motorists.
Although driving the speed limit is usually a safe practice, if everyone around you is doing 10 mph over I suggest that it is safer to keep up with the flow of traffic than to drive the speed limit. I’m not suggesting you break the speed limit on a regular basis and don’t ever try to get out of a speeding ticket because some guy on the internet told me to, trust me it won’t work. The thing is if you are slowing traffic down because of the speed you are driving it can become a dangerous situation.
Sometimes it’s Ok to drive aggressively, but just like waiting in line at the grocery store it’s not ok to cut in. When your lane ends and the sign says merge, then merge not just get over and make people slam on their brakes. In a perfect world with people driving the same speed, with a safe following distance and watching the cars around them, you should be able to turn on your signal wait enough time to make sure people see it and then get over. I know it’s never a perfect world, however that doesn’t give you permission to just push your way in between cars where there is barely enough room for your car. If you have to slow down and let a car pass you so you can merge in behind them it’s ok, a few seconds behind isn’t going to ruin your life, but an accident might.
Many states have laws about keeping right on any multiple lane highway or interstate. There are plenty of good reasons for this. If you are in a state that doesn’t have this law, it’s still a good rule of thumb. Unless you are passing always stay to the right. This rule of course does not give you permission to speed down the left lane on the interstate because you are constantly passing people. If you are passing that many people then maybe you should consider rethinking your speed. Going with the flow of traffic is always a better bet.
Remember you don’t have to be the first in line when driving. There is no need to speed around people just so you are first, if people in front of you are driving the same speed as you want to be going then why bother going faster just to be first.
The long and short is if you want to be a better driver, you need to drive like you want others to drive around you. Be polite and considerate of others when driving. Driving is just a way to get from point A to point B so if you can do it in a happy and safe it’s always a good idea.