Whether you’re a beginner driver or you’ve accumulated a few years of experience under your belt, we all have good days and bad days while driving. Learning defensive driving techniques and safe driving practices is a crucial first step in helping to avoid sticky situations on the road.
Driving cautiously and with full awareness of your surroundings will help you notice other drivers’ reckless behaviour and make the right maneuvers to keep you safe. If your confidence is shaky, it may help if you take a driving course to improve your skills before hitting the road.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Here are seven common driving mistakes to avoid:
- Braking too often
- Driving too slowly, especially in the left lane on a highway
- Not using turn signals or indicators
- Neglecting to check your mirrors
- Following too close to the car in front of you
- Failing to check blind spots
- Giving in to road rage
Tips to Avoid These Mistakes
Here are some strategies that will help you drive safely and may aid in avoiding these common mistakes:
– BE AWARE OF YOUR BLIND SPOTS
Your car is an extension of you when you’re on the road, so it’s important to be well-aware of your vehicle’s blind spots and check on them regularly before changing lanes or turning. Additionally, it helps to be aware of the blind spots of other cars. Knowing other cars’ blind spots can help you to predict their movement on the road.
– NEVER TAILGATE
Allow enough braking room for the car in front of you to ensure that no one will get into a fender bender when pulling to a sudden stop. Ensuring a safe following distance can also help you avoid braking unnecessarily. The three second rule is not always correct, in fact the distance you leave will vary based on your environment and your vehicle. To learn about following distance, or if you need a refresher on the subject, take an online driving course.
– ADJUST YOUR MIRRORS BEFORE DRIVING
One of the first things you learn as a driver is how to position your car’s rear-view and side mirrors properly. It’s important to do this before you start driving, not while the car is in motion. Fix the side mirrors so that you angle the mirror a bit outwards, ensuring you see more of the road and only a tiny sliver of your car.
– DON’T LOSE YOUR TEMPER
It’s easy to get frustrated when you get cut off or someone is driving aggressively or carelessly. While you have every right to feel angry, it’s best not to yell or gesture at the driver since it will only worsen the situation. If you believe that someone is driving carelessly and dangerously and it’s putting others at risk, note the vehicle’s information, then call 911 to inform them.
– ALWAYS USE YOUR TURN SIGNALS
Many people treat their turn signals as mere suggestions instead of a requirement. This is especially true when the road is empty, but it is an important tool for informing bikers and pedestrians of your intentions as well as other drivers who may be in your blind spot. Any time you’re shifting lanes or turning, you should always use the appropriate turn signal. Don’t forget to check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before you make your turn!
– NEVER DRIVE SLOW IN THE PASSING LANE
The left passing lane on a highway is for cars passing through. It’s not for drivers who like to cruise or drive slowly. Once you’ve overtaken the vehicle you wanted to pass, it’s important to move back into the right lane so other people can use the left lane to pass as well.
Driving safely and responsibly is essential when you’re on the road, as you can’t predict the behaviour of other drivers. By following these tips and driving defensively, you can avoid making costly driving mistakes and enjoy a smoother experience on the road.
Fleet Safety International is an online driving school in Calgary offering corporate driving training, winter driving courses, commercial vehicle safety training, and other driving courses. We provide the very best in research-based driver safety training. Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer you!