Have you ever stop to think if you’re keeping yourself from being a safer driver? Driving can be one of the most fun, and most frustrating, activities we do on a daily basis. There’s nothing like an open highway, good tunes and a long drive to clear the mind, but there are plenty of things that can dampen the mood, and you might be doing them to yourself. Distraction, multi-tasking and bad driving maneuvers can quickly make the best drivers into unsafe motorists and put others at risk on the road.
Luckily, there are some very simple steps we can take to become safer driver immediately. Check out the list below to see if you’re guilty of any of these big driving don’ts.
Even though we’re all aware about the studies and horror stories of people being distracted while driving, people still shoot the quick “Be right there” or “I love you” while they’re driving. It’s human nature to consider yourself the exception to the rule, but it’s always better to drive on the side of caution and keep your phone away until your car is completely stopped.
Talking on the Phone
While you aren’t necessarily taking your eyes off the road when you talk on your phone, your mind is taking a break from important last minute decision-making while you and your spouse are deciding what to have for dinner tonight. Our brains are not wired to handle dual tasks while driving, so driving should only be done when your full attention is given to the road and the drivers around you.
BE A BETTER DRIVER IN A BETTER CAR! CLICK HERE TO GET AN OFFER!
Driving in the Left Lane All the Time
Traditionally, the left lane is meant for passing, and we seem to have forgotten this in recent years. We all know the permanent left lane drivers who think they’re getting to their destination faster. They get on the highway and take the left lane until they have to move over to exit, but they’re actually increasing the potential for collision. If everyone drove in the middle lane and only used the left lane for passing slower cars, we’d all be moving comfortably forward, and potential for collisions, cutting people off, and road rage would decrease.
Just like talking on your cell phone or texting, eating while driving makes you distracted. You may be more concerned with keeping ketchup from spilling on your shirt than you are of that car that’s in your blind spot. So, if you want to eat in the car, make a little extra time to enjoy your meal in the fast food parking lot.
Rubbernecking and Generally Driving Too Slow
Rubbernecking is the phenomenon that happens when an accident or incident is taking place off the road, but our curiosity gets the better of us, and we slow down to check it out. One car slows down and starts a chain reaction that leads to the phantom traffic jam. You can experience highway congestion long after an accident has been cleared. Resisting the urge to gawk at accidents or someone being pulled over is a good start to keeping traffic flowing.
Above, we talked about slow drivers, but what about the driver who speeds up to cut off the car that just cut him or her off? We’ve all felt the clinch of rage while behind the wheel, but it’s a big deterrent to being a safer driver. A simple trick to calm your anger is to make up a little story to justify the initial bad behavior of the other driver. Instead of thinking the person is just rude and they cut you off on purpose, turn them into a hero. They cut you off because they’re driving an intoxicated friend home in the friend’s car, and they aren’t used to driving a big SUV with a huge blind spot. While it may not be true, you’re a little less mad at them now aren’t you?
Any other suggestion for becoming a safer driver? Share them with us on Facebook.