For many of us, driving is a fundamental part of everyday life and with experience we can often feel like we’re on automatic pilot. But, as with most things, there are always opportunities to learn and improve our skills to make driving more enjoyable and safer so here are some tips to get you thinking.
Never underestimate the benefit of an Advanced Driving course – online or in person. Not only could it save you money on the cost of insurance, it will almost certainly refresh your memory on the now hazy details of your theory test.
Find somewhere to practice parallel parking when there is no pressure from other traffic, and you’ve got plenty of time. Nowadays many cars have reversing cameras but it’s still worth developing confidence in your own eyes and mirrors.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel in the proper positions – usually 9 and 3 or 8 and 4 is recommended nowadays though many people were taught 10 and 2. Holding these positions in a comfortable and relaxed way gives you more control and stability when driving.
Make sure that your mirrors are adjusted to give you optimum vision with the side mirrors far out enough to just overlap the rearview mirror.
There’s absolutely no point breaking the speed limit. Firstly, it’s illegal and secondly, you make hardly any extra time on a journey and just run the risk of being caught or risking an accident. And every time you have to slow down for junctions or stop for traffic lights you lose the potential gains anyway.
When you merge with other traffic, give yourself time, do it calmly and take your turn. Likewise, if you are on the road to be merged with, let people in. Aggressive lane cutting just annoys people and is more likely to cause an accident.
Familiarise yourself with how to drive in hazardous weather conditions like fog or snow. You might not do it very often, but even having a theoretical knowledge can help your confidence and give you extra knowledge that translates into experience.
This one goes without saying whether you’ve been driving for 30 minutes or 30 years – don’t drive when you’re tired or sleepy, whatever the reason. Likewise, maintain concentration – phones, food, fiddling with dials and exuberant friends can all be distractions and you need to be fully focused for maximum safety.
Finally, remember that driving is a skill and like any other skill it improves with practice.
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