5 Habits to Improve Your Driving

We all have a sense of love for our trusty vehicles, which is why doing all that we can to avoid a costly car accident should be a top priority. There are basically three ways in which to avoid a costly smash-up:

  • Obey the rules of the road,
  • Improve your driving skills,
  • Improve your driving habits.

These seem simple enough, yet strangely, improving one's driving habits seem to be the most difficult to achieve. In order to improve your driving skills, you can go on an advanced driveing school course which will fine-tune your abilities and reactions behind the wheel. However, to improve your driving habits, you almost need to draw on tremendous personal resolve and execute with determination.

These are five habits that you can work on that may save you the trouble and trauma of being involved in a costly car accident:

Courtesy

In our everyday lives, we're generally well-mannered, even-tempered people. We open doors for others, greet politely, and say please and thank you. In the instance that we get behind the wheel of a car, we go through a metamorphosis. The road becomes a racing track, and we're out to win!

If you're ever tempted to act this way, remember that courtesy begets courtesy. The more you treat other road users with respect, the more you'll find that respect will be forthcoming from others - it's human nature. Furthermore, courtesy feels better than anger or impatience does.

Patience

With the increasing congestion on our roads, patience is probably one of the most difficult habits to cultivate. When time is tight and life is busy, we tend to start feeling the stress of waiting for the traffic lights to change or for the car in front to move on faster.

Remind yourself that holding onto this tension will not make the lights change or the car in front go faster. Turn up the music and drum to the beat, or put your frustration into a balloon and let it float away. Always remember to breathe deeply.

Focus

As it is, driving a car is a multi-tasking activity in its own right. Then, with it, we add more activities that belong in the home or the office instead of the car. It's okay, perhaps, to have a sip of coffee or check your hair quickly whilst stopped at a traffic light, but to apply a full face of makeup, read the newspaper, or text while actually driving is definitely not a good idea. It diverts attention away from the road and, worse, away from other drivers who are driving in a similar, unfocused manner. Did you know that if just ten percent of drivers on the road are not focused on the task at hand, there is a ten percent chance of an accident occurring? Rather alarming, isn't it? It is, therefore, extremely important to always be on the defence and foresee hidden dangers. This is where focus comes in.

Defensiveness

Safe travelling distances and speeds are the two most important tactics in defensive driving. For instance, a dog runs in front of a driver travelling in front of you, causing him to brake suddenly. If there's not enough following distance between the two of you, you will not stop in time and you will become the cause of the accident. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to anticipate what other drivers are going to do, because, often, they may not know themselves. 

Tolerance

You know those times when you're driving along merrily in a 70 km zone, headlights on, keeping to your lane, keeping a safe following distance, indicating when necessary (i.e. obeying the rules of the road), when another vehicle zips past, just manages to squeeze in front of you without indicating, causing you to come to a grinding halt because the traffic light just turned red? Our advice: Don't turn red too. Just think blue and keep your cool. Remaining tolerant to other drivers' bad behaviour is likely to help you to avoid nasty road rage incidents that could result in damage to your car - or worse. 

Practice all five habits and be pleasant to others whenever you're behind the wheel of a car. You'll most likely find that the other part of your day will likely turn out to be much more pleasant too.

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