When you’ve been driving for a long time, it is easy to become too confident in your own ability and grow complacent on the roads. This is dangerous both to yourself and other road users and it is important to take a step back and assess your driving. Going back to basics can help you to remember some key safety procedures and refreshes your skills.
Here are 4 tips to take on board that will make you better appreciate what it means to be a good driver.
- Don’t overestimate other drivers
Don’t assume that other drivers know what they are doing and will set a good example on the roads. By putting your trust in other road users you are not relying as heavily on your own driving and are likely to be less alert. Always expect the worst from other drivers as this will prepare you for any potential risks and ensures that you stay vigilant at all times. Look out for drivers who may ignore traffic signals and keep an eye on potential dangers in front such as slow-moving vehicles. You must also check your mirrors regularly for fast-approaching cars or drivers trying to overtake in an unsafe area. When driving on the motorway, look out for sudden lane changers. Essentially, you must always watch out for poor or reckless drivers to stay safe and shouldn’t put complete faith in anyone else on the road.
- Always keep an eye out for hazards
As well as keeping an eye on drivers around you, you must also watch out for other hazards. Potholes, construction areas and broken down vehicles are all unexpected risks to be wary of. Read road signs carefully to prevent accidentally going over a speed limit or having to take a sudden turn. Observe road markings to ensure that you are in the correct lane and move into the proper lane in plenty of time before approaching an intersection to stay safe. You should also always check blind spots before manoeuvring. You had to do these things in your driving test, so there’s no reason to have stopped.
- Keep a safe driving distance
What is considered a safe driving distance depends on a number of factors, including weather, traffic and visibility. Think about your situation and drive in a way that is appropriate to current conditions. The correct minimal stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front varies depending on your speed. At 40mph, you should be at least nine car lengths behind the car in front. At 60mph this increases to eighteen car lengths. If another driver cuts in front of you suddenly, readjust your distance. Be ready for danger so you can begin to brake early if you spot a hazard ahead. This allows you to stop safely with more room and will give drivers behind you the chance to do the same, without hitting your car.
- Don’t let road rage take over – let impatient drivers overtake
If you encounter an irresponsible driver, it is vital that you keep your cool. Provoking them or responding in a reckless manner will only make the situation worse and puts you at serious risk. Stay calm and let impatient drivers overtake rather than speeding up or fighting them for the upper hand. What matters above all else is your safety and petty arguments on the road just aren’t worth it.
Don’t let complacency act as a barrier to safe driving: keep these top tips in mind to protect yourself on the roads.
This article was provided by road traffic barrier safety experts at www.bullbarrier.com.