How to be­come a bet­ter driver

Rutherglen Reformer - - Safe Driving -

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.

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