According to Statista, there were 228.2 million licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2018. California issued the highest licenses. Unfortunately, a license doesn’t make one a good driver. Many people go through driving school but leave everything they have learned in school. If you want to be a better driver, you need more than a license. Being a good driver will help you avoid accidents and have an enjoyable driving experience. Here are five things that can help you become a better driver.
1. Maintain Your Car Regularly
You don’t have to watch all the Fast and Furious films to be a better driver. The small, seemingly mundane aspects, such as regular car maintenance, can set you apart from other drivers. For example, regularly check engine oil levels depending on your vehicle type. Different models of cars and trucks take different amounts of oil, but most engines require 5 to 7 quarts.
You should have sound knowledge of your car, how it functions, and its flaws. Wash your car regularly to increase visibility and reduce dust accumulation on engine parts. It’s also recommended you get a full car check twice a year.
2. Observe Traffic Signs and Rules
Rules were made to be broken, says popular rhetoric. Yet some rules, such as traffic rules, are a means of protecting all road users. If you want to be a better driver, observe basic traffic signs and rules even when other drivers ignore them. If you want to change lanes or turn, signal even when there’s no nearby car.
Being a better driver is about curating life-long habits. Following traffic rules and signs will become your lifestyle if you practice good driving skills long enough. For example, you’ll always be inclined to yield to pedestrians or to stop at the red sign.
3. Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Good drivers maintain a strong situational awareness of their surroundings by keeping a watchful eye. They look at the car ahead but are also aware of what’s happening in the next 100 or 200 meters. Moreover, they avoid distractions. For example, don’t chat and text while driving. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 2,841 deaths in 2018 alone. Don’t be part of the statistics.
4. Maintain A Safety Distance
According to Pathways by Amica, the front bumper accounts for nearly a third of all accident damage. Rear-to-bumper accidents often happen because drivers drive too closely to each other. Maintaining a safe distance is especially critical during traffic hours when there isn’t a clear road view. Sometimes the difference between an accident and driving safely is the three-second rule (at least one car length behind).
5. Always be Ready for Emergencies
Finally, you could become one of the best drivers and still be involved in an accident. Sometimes one rogue driver can cause an incident for three good drivers. Therefore, keep your car ready. Stock for emergencies with supplies such as flashlights, road hazard signs, and snacks.
Preparedness will also depend on the type of road you’re driving on. According to the National Asphalt Pavement Association, there are 2.6 million miles of paved roads in the United States. Install good winter tires if you’re driving on unpaved roads during winter.
If you become a better driver, you protect your life, car, and other road users. You’ll have an enjoyable driving experience and keep your car in good shape. The best place to start with being a good driver is to practice what you learned in driving lessons. With the above four tips, you can become a better and more responsible driver.