August 8th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re looking into how to be a good driver or maybe just a better driver. For most experienced drivers, driving is a habitual activity that doesn’t require a lot of conscious thought once we get behind the wheel. So it makes sense that we should all develop good driving habits to make the roads safer for everyone.
And while increased safety is the result of good driving habits, there are other benefits, including keeping your car in good driving condition and avoiding costly repairs.
If you are interested in how to be a good driver, start by developing a good driving habits list. Hre are some tips for being a good driver.
Five good driving habits every driver should adopt
1. Focus, focus, focus
Good driving habits include being hyper-focused. You want to avoid letting your mind wander; if you’re mentally rehearsing your meeting with your boss, or brainstorming your grocery shopping list, it means you are not present. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road and avoid distractions like texting, checking your smartphone, messing with the stereo controls, or engaging in excessive conversation with your passengers.
2. Follow the speed limit
If you want to know how to be a good driver, a good starting point is to respect posted speed limits. A good driving habit is to be aware of the posted speed limits and make sure you do not exceed it. And remember, the speed limit is the maximum limit, not a recommended speed. Adjust your speed based on the time of the day, the flow of traffic, as well as weather and surface conditions. If you are approaching a school zone or residential area, be cognizant of the speed limits and exercise caution.
3. Don’t neglect routine maintenance
At Fix Auto, this is one of our favorite tips for being a good driver. If you want your car to last and avoid costly repairs, make sure you regularly maintain your vehicle. That means inspecting – or having a pro inspect – your car’s fluids like oil, transmission fluid, brake and power steering fluid, and coolant. Ensuring they are at the right fluid level will result in higher fuel efficiency and help you avoid costly repairs in the long run. It also means keeping your tires properly inflated. This can’t be emphasized enough, given that underinflated tires cause 660 highway deaths and 33,000 injuries annually. Be vigilant about checking air pressure, tread, and rotating your tires a few times a year. Establishing good driving habits for your car now will pay off down the road.
4. Get in the habit of checking for blind spots
This tip should be on everyone’s good driving habits list. After checking your rearview and side mirrors, it is important to also check for blind spots. This involves turning your head to make sure no cars or pedestrians are approaching. Checking for blind spots is especially crucial before changing lanes. Be on the lookout for small cars and motorcycles, which tend to switch lanes a lot and may be hard to detect. Make sure that once you check for blind spots and prepare to switch lanes, you use your turn signals to indicate your intention.
Checking blind spots might seem like a hassle, but it is the best way to avoid a collision with a car or motorcycle.
5. Be nice
That may seem obvious, but the fact is, aggressive driving and road rage are becoming more frequent, and you never know who’s in the other car and what they are capable of. It’s best, then, to practice kindness and do what you can to avoid confrontation with other drivers. If someone cuts you off or does something to annoy you, be nice and give them the benefit of the doubt. And whatever you do, don’t retaliate, because if you do, it could quickly escalate matters.
And remember, practicing good driving habits isn’t just a nice thing to do. It helps increase the longevity of your car and avoid accidents and costly repairs. While it’s important to exercise good driving habits, it’s also important to avoid bad driving habits. For example, a bad driving habit you should avoid is texting or checking messages while you’re driving.
Now that you know how to be a good driver, go out there and practice. The key is to develop consistent and safe driving behaviors, then repeat them every time you get in the car until it becomes habitual.
What else? Stay focused and in control. Don’t exceed the speed limit or take unnecessary risks, and keep an eye out for blind spots. Keep your car regularly maintained and in good driving condition. And finally, be nice to your fellow drivers. At the end of the day, you can’t control other drivers, but you do have control over your car and your own driving behavior.
So that’s our take. We want to hear from you. What are your tips for being a good driver? What’s number one on your good driving habits list?
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Reno, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Washoe County.