If you are reading this blog, you probably want to adopt safe driving habits and stay away from danger.
It is a simple decision considering the alarming number of crashes that take place in the country.
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the total number of police-reported vehicle-related crashes amounted to 6,296,000 in 2016.
Wouldn’t that be alarming enough to encourage other drivers to abandon unsafe driving habits?
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The answer is yes and no. Let’s be real about this issue. How many times have you spotted other motorists driving erratically while on the road?
Perhaps it is something that you notice every single day. Not to mention that some people appear to get away with it. What a crazy world!
Fear not! You can still make a change when it comes to your safety. Here are 8 safe driving habits you should start adopting today.
1. Circle check before climbing behind the wheel
Before you start your vehicle, even prior to getting comfy, you should arrange a circle check.
Inspect your vehicle and check your surroundings. That also includes watching for pedestrians, moving objects, and anything that could endanger your journey.
The benefit of making circle checks is that you get a better view of your surroundings by walking around your vehicle. Just do it. It just takes few seconds of your time.
2. Implement the 3-second technique
Of all the safe driving habits, this one requires simple counting.
Whenever you want to make a turn or switch lanes, use the 3-second technique to indicate others your next maneuver.
For example, if you want to make a right turn, turn on your signals and wait 3 seconds before making your next maneuver.
By using this technique, you will be able to detect other vehicles or objects that are hard to spot when relying solely on your mirrors.
The 3-second technique also allows other vehicles to predict your next move on time. Every second matters!
3. Look past the vehicle ahead of you
Unless you are driving on a completely empty road, you are advised to look past the vehicle in front of you.
By adopting this habit, you’ll be getting more time to react to unexpected situations, including sudden stops.
Most novice drivers pay close attention to the rear lights of the vehicle ahead of them, rather than looking further ahead.
Get an ample view. Be able to predict what is going on few vehicles ahead of you to predict your next move.
4. Increase your following distance
If you must drive during inclement weather conditions, you should increase your following distance to 4 seconds.
In addition, make sure you adjust your speed accordingly.
This habit not only relates to foggy, rainy, or snowy conditions, but also applies to driving in poorly maintained roads.
When facing any of those challenges, drive at least 3 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you to ensure you have enough time to brake if needed.
5. Watch for traffic lights and other road signs
Road signs and traffic lights exist for a reason. They give you enough guidance to remain safe and be able to plan ahead your next maneuver.
For example, if you spot a posted sign indicating the speed limit, you need to adjust your speed accordingly and avoid tickets.
The same applies to traffic lights. If you approach an intersection with a red light, gradually slow down until you come to a full stop.
It also goes without saying that driving through a red light results in tickets and increases your chances of crashing.
6. Leave earlier!
If your normal routine consists of leaving for work at 7 AM and cope with severe traffic congestion, you may consider leaving earlier.
You need to use time in your favor and plan your trip in a way that helps you avoid disruptions.
Sometimes getting up 15 mins earlier makes a huge difference in your journey. Rushing has a become a negative habit that many tardy motorists has failed to tackled.
You could avoid the painful morning rush by leaving for work earlier. Not only will you be able to arrive to work on time, but also feel less stressed about your commute.
7. Avoid distracted driving at all cost
Just because you think you are good at driving doesn’t mean you can afford multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking is a habit or a skill that works brilliantly at work, but that’s about it. Driving while answering a call or replying to text increases your chances of crashing significantly.
Are you willing to compromise your safety by simply replying to a text or “important” call. Think about your priorities if you need help.
Other distractions also include: eating while driving, drinking while driving, talking to passengers, reaching out to things far from your seat, and playing with the dashboard.
8. Be confident, but leave cockiness at home
Showcasing confidence is also associated with good driving habits, particularly when you have been driving for years.
But confidence tends to be confused with cockiness which is a trait that you should never highlight for.
A confident driver knows how to drive defensively by following the right steps to ensure everyone on the road remains safe.
On the other hand, a “cocky” driver feels so empowered by their own ability to drive that safety is no longer a priority.
Be confident and do not let cockiness blind your safety. The roads are full of motorists who make hard-to-recover mistakes.
These habits might not be easy to incorporate in your life. Yet the harder you try to drive safely, the easier for you to get rid of habits that might as well endanger your safety.
You could also refer to other resources if you wish to make a positive change.
From going through your handbook to signing up for a defensive driving course, you are still capable of polishing your skills.
If you know any other safe driving habit that should be part of the list, please let us know in the comments below.
We are glad to raise awareness and help others improve.