Imagine you’re driving to work or going to buy groceries; the radio is playing your favourite song; the people at the robot aren’t trying to sell you something or wash your window for a small fee; in general, this is a good drive. Then out of nowhere, the jerk in the next lane pushes in front of you – no indication or anything. We’ve all experienced it but even worse than that, we’ve all been that guy.
Bad driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Small changes to your driving behaviour can lead to you getting to your destination safely and will prevent you from making that car insurance call (leaving your Cash Back Bonus in tact). Read our tips on how to not be that guy.
Give us a clue
By using your indicator you can signal to other people when you’re planning on changing lanes or turning? This will give people the opportunity to adjust their driving behaviour to suit your plans and avoid a collision.
Your mirrors aren’t there to have a good-looking person look back at you every time you look into it. After the indicator they are probably the least used part of a car (we can only speculate).
Remember to check your rear view mirror every 5 to 8 seconds- this will show you what is happening behind you, so that you can move out of the way for vehicles that are moving faster than you are. Always look in your rear view mirror before changing lanes, slowing down or stopping. If you are changing lanes first look in the rear view mirror, then the mirror on the side of the traffic, then your blind spot only then you can change lanes.
According to the Bury St Edmunds Driving School, you need to see a small amount of the car’s rear in the part of the mirror closest to you. This has been debated by Car and Driver, a car magazine, who say that by keeping your own car completely out of your car’s side mirrors you can negate the blind spots. As the driver you need to set the mirrors in a way that is most comfortable for you.
How many times have you been cut off or seen someone speeding past you while they were on the phone? Have you ever been busy with the radio while at the robot, only to end up in a light fender-bender? Taking your eyes off the road, even for a second, can be fatal. Take note of these tips while driving:
- Keep your eyes, and your attention, on the road.
- Install a hands-free phone kit in your car or use a voice activation app on your phone.
- Find your destination on your GPS before you start driving and turn on its voice system.
- Ensure your kids are buckled-up and in the backseat.
- Never read while driving.
- No, you really aren’t a better driver when you’re drunk – stop doing it.
- Never drive tired.
- Be mindful of the music you listen to while driving. An Israeli study found that the rhythm of music influences your ability to concentrate on your driving environment tremendously – an increased tempo (techno music) indicated and increase in risks taken (skipping red lights).
Be the bigger person
Road rage is a killer. We’ve all heard the stories of people getting so aggravated with other drivers that they literally got out of their cars to confront them. And really, who are we to judge, how many times have you sat in your car flipping someone off for being that guy? Try these tips on how not to be that guy.
- Stop tailgating other drivers and always keep at least three car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
- Stick to the speed limit. The faster you drive the less control you have over your vehicle and the greater distance you need to stop.
- Yellow does not mean ‘go’. Once the light changes, it gives other cars and pedestrians the right of way. Waiting out the minute at the robot will most definitely get you to work quicker than ramming into another car.
- When a police officer signals you to stop; be courteous, they’re just doing their job. Instead of getting a ticket you might just get a warning.
A good rule of thumb, while driving, is to think of the person in the other car as your grandmother – suddenly it’s a whole lot easier to forgive their mistake.
By ‘cleaning’ up your driving, you are not only making the roads a safer place for you and your passengers, but also for everyone else using the roads. So, don’t be that guy and get home safely!