10 Ways to Become a Better Driver

Whether you have had five collisions or none, everyone can work to become a better driver. Experience may be important when it comes to driving but with time can come complacency. Why not refresh your driving mind by taking a look at Nev’s ten ways to become a better driver.

ONE: Time

One of the most annoying things about driving these days is getting stuck in traffic and you end up chasing your tail, so give yourself more time and check out your journey well in advance. I tend to put the postcode in ‘Google Maps’ an hour or two before I leave and it shows me my journey time and if there are any problems en-route. You can’t chill out if you are under pressure time wise.

TWO: Fuel

How frustrating is it when you are running against the clock and you need to pick up fuel? I recently stood in a queue at one of those petrol-cum-supermarket stations. Just about everyone in front of me was buying their weekly shop. It took what seemed like forever to get served. Do yourself a favour and buy fuel before you hit empty. It gives you the chance to shop around for the cheapest, too.

THREE: Know where you are going

If I am traveling to a new location, I go onto any of the web-based street view app or, again, use ‘Google Maps’ and have a good walk around. Often, I speak to the person I am going to see in advance for local advice on parking etc. I bet you’ve been behind a vehicle that seems to have no idea where they are going and watching their poor driving. Don’t be one of them!

FOUR: Keep you car well maintained

The last thing you want is to be driving while worrying there is a problem with your car. This will cause a big distraction as you spend more time fretting about your car rather than the road. Many roadside recoveries are simply down to poor levels of vehicle maintenance. Get it checked out so you don’t end up being the poor soul standing next to your car, often in the dark and the rain, wishing you had sorted out it before.

FIVE: Chill the background music

Music can play an important part in the way you feel. But loud, banging music, fun as it may be, can seriously affect your driving. Soft, chillout music helps to reduce stress levels, and calm drivers make for better drivers.

SIX: The MPG challenge

This is a really cool game to play. Set your average MPG on your dash and try to get it to the highest MPG that you can achieve. Tips to attaining high MPG: watch the road into the far distance so as you can come off the gas nice and early if needed, and try to keep your car moving whenever possible. Most people that drive ECO-style will save in the region of 10% on their fuel bills.

SEVEN: Distractions

This one is simple. Keep distractions out of temptation’s reach. Passengers can also become a big distraction so ask them to keep it to a minimum. If anyone has advice regarding my Mother-in-Law when she is in the car, please send it in…

EIGHT: Commentary drive

This is a well-known technique that we use in driver training. Try talking your way down the road, pointing out what you consider to be a potential risk. It’s amazing what you end up seeing that you may have missed before.

NINE: Courtesy

Simple; be nice to other drivers. It makes you feel good and normally results in a smile. Driving is a communal activity and we all share the road as equals. It takes far more energy and stress to be aggressive.

TEN: Defensive driving

In a nutshell, try and keep yourself out of trouble. Why not be part of a solution rather than part of the problem? Too many drivers push their way into problems when they could easily be part of the solution. Keep your distance and check for escape routes.

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