Many people think that all it takes to be a responsible driver is not to break the law. And while that is a very important thing to do, there’s a lot more to it than that! Being a responsible driver means being aware of your surroundings, making smart decisions, and being courteous to other drivers. Whether you know that you want to learn more about driving cautiously or you want to teach your children to do the same, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’re going to explore some tips to help you be the best driver you can be.
Why it’s Essential to be a Good Driver
Being a good driver isn’t just about following the rules of the road and avoiding accidents. It’s also about being courteous and considerate to other drivers and making the roads a safer and more pleasant place for everyone. When you’re a good driver, you yield to pedestrians, use your turn signals, and obey the posted speed limit. You also refrain from tailgating, cutting off other drivers, or engaging in other dangerous or aggressive behaviors. In short, you show respect for both the law and your fellow drivers. It’s essential for keeping the road safe along with yourself and other road users. Now let’s run through the key ways we can all do this.
Stay Focused and Alert
One of the most important things you can do when behind the wheel is to stay focused on the task at hand: driving. That means no fiddling with the radio, no chatting on the phone, and definitely no texting! If you need to do any of those things, pull over and take care of it before getting back on the road.
Obey the Posted Speed Limit
Speed limits are in place for a reason: they help keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely. So even if you’re in a hurry, resist the urge to speed. Not only is it unsafe, but you’re also more likely to get pulled over and end up paying a costly ticket. Also, look to abide by the criminal speeding laws by state. You won’t want to ensure that you know them all and get caught out!
Use Your Turn Signals
Turn signals exist for one reason: to let other drivers know what you’re about to do so that they can plan accordingly. So make sure you use them every time you turn or change lanes. Doing this can often be the difference between staying safe and causing an accident. So make sure that you’re diligent when you use them.
Be Aware of Other Road Users
When you’re driving, it’s important to be aware of other road users. This includes not only other cars, but also pedestrians, cyclists, and even animals. By being aware of the potential hazards, you can help to avoid accidents and keep everyone safe. For example, if you see a cyclist ahead of you, give them plenty of space when passing. And if you’re approaching a crosswalk, slow down and make sure that pedestrians have cleared the area before proceeding.
Leave Enough Space
Following another car too closely is not only inconsiderate, but it’s also dangerous. If that car has to brake suddenly, you could rear-end them and cause an accident. So give yourself (and other drivers) some space by leaving a few car lengths between you and the car in front of you. This is the best way to be safe.
Yield to Pedestrians
Pedestrians always have the right-of-way, so if there’s someone crossing the street or walking in a crosswalk, make sure to yield and let them go first. It’s important to be really vigilant of them around you too as you’re driving—particularly children or when you’re in a school zone. You never know if they will unintentionally dart out in front of you.
Be Careful in Different Conditions
Many people are surprised to learn that driving in different weather conditions can be just as dangerous as driving in heavy traffic. While it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times, it’s even more important to be extra careful when visibility is poor or the roads are slippery. So, when visibility is poor, slow down and turn on your headlights and in slick conditions, keep your speed down and increase the following distance. If you start to skid, don’t panic. Turn the wheel in the direction you want the car to go, and let off the gas until you regain control. This will help you to feel safer on the roads.