Sharpen Your Driving Skills with These Tips
We know it’s always the other guy. The one who’s driving too slow, too fast, too aggressively, too mindlessly…the one who can’t park between the lines, parks too close to your side…the list of finding fault in other drivers is endless, and in some cases, totally applicable. There are bad drivers out there—a lot of bad drivers. And, not to point a finger and not to lay blame, but don’t you think, that maybe, sometimes, you might be guilty of being a bad driver? Okay! We hear you.
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Before you even think of hitting the gas, MotorAuthority.com writer Marty Padgett advises starting with the basics including positioning your mirrors, controls, and seat to your preference; have on hand a current insurance card; “sit up straight an set the proper driving position”; fasten your seat belt; and clean off your license plate for easy viewing.
Everyone, no matter how long you’ve been behind the wheel, could benefit from a review.
“Not only can online driving courses save you money on your car insurance or take points off your driving record, they’re actually pretty good refresher courses for anyone who’s been driving for a while and the answers to those driver’s license tests are just a hazy memory,” reports Lifehacker.com writer Melanie Pinola. “Do you know how to eyeball how far ahead the vehicle in front of you should be based on your speed? Know the difference between a DUI and a DWI and how many drinks can impair you for each? Stuff like that is covered in these courses, usually around $35.”
While on the road, Padgett reminds drivers to take advantage of those handy-dandy controls that alert other drivers to your intentions—turn signals—and, “pay attention to traffic lights when they change.” Everyone’s time is precious.
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If you’re sleepy, take a nap—don’t get behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is a serious danger
“Any time your mental facilities could be compromised—whether from alcohol, poor sleep, new medication, or even having a horrible cold—is time to stay off the road or find an alternative to driving,” advises Pinola.
Padgett reminds you that stopping for pedestrians is always a driving-do; it’s best to give more room to motorcycles and bicycles; use the horn lightly or quickly flash your lights to communicate to other drivers; “when you are turning left, go into the left lane; when you are turning right, go into the right lane”; and make sure your headlights and taillights have bulbs that work.
But the most important rule according to Padgett is to stay focused on the road—put all distractions like food and phones down until you’re no longer operating a motor vehicle.