Habits to Make (and A Few to Break): Becoming a Safe Driver
New drivers are taught all kinds of rules and regulations when they take a driver’s education course, whether in school as a young teen, or as an adult at an actual driving school. Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, making sure to check your mirrors often, and using a turn signal often and in the right way are just a few of the key notes that up-and-coming drivers will be required to remember when they leave the class. However, there are lots of other safe practices to employ early on, ensuring that you will develop safer driving habits, and that will make you a better driver overall.
Before you can determine which habits are important to make however, you must determine which ones you should break. Even brand new drivers will climb behind the wheel with unhealthy habits, whether personally picked up or learned from watching other drivers. Poor driving habits include playing music too loudly, distracted driving (talking with passengers, using your cell phone, etc.), speeding, and “tailgating” (following the vehicle in front of you too closely) are all examples of bad (and dangerous) habits to avoid when driving, whether you’ve been driving only a few weeks, or for many years.
Once a new driver has nailed down which habits to stay away from, it’s important that they take measures to develop good practices while behind the wheel and develop their driving skills to make sure they are driving as safely and as proficiently as possible. These include:
- Changing up your vehicle and/or driving environment. If a driver is only accustomed to driving a small economy car on flat roadways, they will likely struggle if they find themselves in a large SUV and forced to drive on a road with curves/inclines. Since you can’t always choose your situation (what if you break down and HAVE to use a different car?) it’s important that new drivers learn how to drive multiple types of vehicles in varying types of terrain and weather. Whether it’s borrowing a family member’s car while on vacation, or asking friends and family to offer up their cars for some practice, attempt to get as many driving experiences under your belt (or the belt of a young driver) as early on as you can.
- Be prepared. Driving won’t always be a calm and collected experience. Make sure you are ready and prepared for driving in emergency or less-than-ideal situations. This can include driving in heavy traffic, construction areas, in bad weather, etc. There are special classes drivers can take to help them hone skills in emergency braking, controlling a vehicle in poor conditions, etc. This is a great option for new drivers.
- Know the basics of taking care of your car. If you are going to drive, you should know how to change a tire, read the manual to do some simple diagnostics on your car if something goes wrong, and add or change basic fluids in your car. This is not only important for safety (if you get a flat or break down) but it can also save you substantial amounts of money in car upkeep and maintenance.
- Be wiling to listen and be corrected. This is an important one for drivers at all stages. If a passenger, family member, or even a driving instructor has advice or corrections to make, don’t be too prideful to listen to them. Heeding what they say and polishing up the areas they are concerned about could save your life and/or the lives of others when you are on the road.
We hope you’ll consider these tips when you climb behind the wheel. Regardless of how long you’ve been driving, these are all important factors to keep in mind. If you have had a run-in with a driver who didn’t practice safe habits, or if you are the guilty party and caused an accident yourself, you need to be sure to have proper representation. It’s important to find a legal representative that is prepared to handle cases involving automobile accidents, and the resulting insurance claims and issues that will come up. If you are in the greater Sebring, FL area, you know you can call on Sessums Law Group. We are prepared to handle your case.
Remember, when the unexpected happens, we stand for YOU!