No matter your skill level or experience, there’s always room for improvement. It’s well worth taking a step back every so often and giving your driving style & habits a review!
Adjust Your Driving Accordingly
Try to remember that speed limits are not targets, they are maximums. For example, it may be perfectly safe to drive at the 60mph limit on a country road on a dry sunny day, however it’s not the case at night or during poor weather.
A good driver will react to different situations, whether it’s weather or road occurrences, and will adjust their driving style accordingly.
Now granted there will of course be occasions where you have to immediately slam the brakes on, in your driving life that’s virtually unavoidable.
However in everyday driving it’s well worth getting into the habit of applying the brakes early when approaching a stop, and slowly bringing the speed off, rather than braking fairly aggressively nearer to the end.
Quite simply, this habit makes you less likely to lock a wheel or lose control due to loss of traction, in the short term. In the long term however, the ‘wear & tear’ effects on your brakes will be less severe.
Look Past The Car Ahead
This is a technique they actually teach in the army, so if it’s good enough for soldiers it’s good enough for us!
Expand your concentrated view on not just the car infront of you, but try and make an conscious effort to be constantly scanning the area 2 or 3 cars ahead.
This does take some time to get used to, but it can potentially help you spot hazards quicker, improve your braking reaction time and can even save you an accident!
Driving is unfortunately one of those occurrences where despite how good you are or the level of experience you have, it can become monotonous and you can actually slip into a state of auto-pilot.
Through a bit of podcast self-education, I’ve learned quite a simple technique to bring yourself out of auto-pilot and become fully consciously alert again.
Simple: Take a deep breath in and out, then count to 5 out loud.
You’re back! Granted if there’s anyone in the car with you you might look a bit weird, and I know it might seem a bit weird… but honestly, try it! You’ll be surprised!
Scrap any Tailgating Habits
As tempting as it might be, try not to get into the habit of driving right behind the car in front of you, in any situation.
You’re giving yourself far less time to react should they unexpectedly brake, you’re most likely going to antagonise the driver in front, and above all else it’s just completely unnecessary!
A good rule I was personally taught when I was learning to drive is the ‘two second’ rule. As the car in front of you passes a certain point, you make sure you don’t pass that point until 2 seconds after.
One easy way to do this is to say to yourself ‘Only a fool breaks the two-second rule’, if you pass that point before you finish that phrase, you’re too close. Drop back until you can comfortably say that phrase in between the car in front passing a point, and you passing that point