When it comes to driving, safety is paramount. If you’re new to driving, or even if you’ve been driving for a while and feel like there’s room for improvement, you might find yourself wondering how you can become a better driver and keep yourself out of risk’s way. To help, we’ve put together these driving hacks on how you can stay safer on the road.
The further you look ahead, the more likely you’ll be able to react to hazards. The further the hazard is from you, the more time you will have to react and avoid it safely – so keep your eyes on the road ahead, and be prepared to act as soon as you can to potential dangers.
Pay attention to the car in front
If the car in front of you is braking, and so is the car ahead of it, it’s more than likely that you’ll have to as well. If you’ve already noticed and begun slowing down, you’re more likely to be able to stop a safe distance away from the car in front, rather than going into the back of them. Paying attention to the car in front will allow you to react as soon as you need to.
Don’t assume that another motorist will react the way you would. Everyone’s different, and, unfortunately, not everyone has the same respect for safe driving as you might. Assuming that another driver will do something is a recipe for disaster. Don’t rely on other drivers’ behaviour and always prepare for the worst – hopefully, a driver won’t do anything unexpected, but if they do, you want to be ready.
Look around you
It’s easy to forget about your mirrors – but they’re there for you to use. They give you a full view all around you, and can help you to observe cars and potential hazards around you. Being aware of your surroundings will help you step into action should anything happen, so make sure you’re utilising your mirrors as much as possible.
Keep your energy up
If you feel yourself getting tired, take a break. If you get tired or fed up, your concentration levels will drop, which could cause a serious accident if you don’t a hazard or look away from the road at the wrong moment. As much as you may wish to just get to your destination, if you can feel yourself getting distracted, it’s not worth the risk.
Two second rule
You should be two seconds behind another car at all times – this is also often described as two car lengths. Choose a marker and after the car in front passes it, count two seconds – if it’s less than two seconds before you get to that marker, you’re too close. The closer you are to the other car, the less time you will have to react. Plus, tailgating can intimidate other drivers, which isn’t something you should be aiming for.
Be wary of the driving conditions: rain and surface water can seriously affect your stopping distance, as can ice or snow. You’ll need more time to react to hazards in those conditions, so you’ll need to be extra-vigilant. In rain, the two second rule becomes four seconds, and in icy conditions, this can increase even further. Bear this in mind as you drive.
Following these tips should help you to stay safer, so make sure to employ them into your everyday driving. Before you know it, they’ll become second nature.