How to become a better driver
Yes, you may think you are a competent driver but it could be time for you to take refresher lessons and bring your skills up to scratch.
The roads are busier than ever and most driving schools offer Pass Plus or refresher lessons for drivers. Here are some safety tips from instructors to keep you safe behind the wheel. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE You can’t crash into space. The more space you keep around you, the less risk of a collision. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common forms of traffic accidents – but you don’t have to be a victim. Managing the space of the driver behind you is just as important as the space in front of you and you may well need to build into that space, the braking distance of the driver who is too close behind. When stopping, the early use of brake lights to control the attention and slowing of the driver behind you may well prevent a shunt from behind – so effective is the technique that the latest models of cars flash your brake lights if you brake hard and even flash the hazard warning lights when braking extra hard. MORE HASTE LESS SPEED Don’t treat speed limits as a target and ensure you are constantly taking road and traffic conditions into account. Keeping your speed and distance means that hazards are more likely to dissolve ahead of you and you won’t fall foul of harsh acceleration and braking and this will save you fuel too. YOU ARE ONLY HUMAN The rule here is don’t get distracted. Although it is a familiar everyday task, driving is actually a very complex thing. Trying to do something else like using a mobile phone, using Satnav or other tasks, at the same time as controlling the car is distracting. Listening to music with the volume too high can encourage drivers to speed up. Distracted drivers find it much more difficult to maintain their awareness of what’s happening on the road around them, and are more likely to speed. BE SAFE, BE SEEN People don’t generally hit what they see – so put yourself where you can be seen. Why stay alongside trucks and vans where the driver cannot see you? Position for vision and early decisions when you find yourself on the road next to a large vehicle. DON’T DRIVE TIRED Ask yourself if you should even be driving. Someone driving on a motorway at 70 mph who nods off for six seconds would travel more than 200 metres in that time. So it’s simple, never drive while tired. On long journey stop for at least a 15 minute break every two hours. Be safe on the roads.