It’s the responsibility of every motorist to proactively improve their driving skills on an ongoing basis. In reality, the vast majority of motorists gradually lose sight of many important lessons learned during their time as a learner driver.
Still, it doesn’t take a great deal to take the safety and responsibility of your driving to a higher level starting today. If you’re serious about becoming a safer and better driver for the benefit of all road users, here’s what you can do to make it happen right now:
1. Eyes on the road
First and foremost, taking your eyes off the road ahead for just a second or two can be all it takes to open the door to disaster. Letting your attention wander from time to time might not seem like the end of the world, but nonetheless remains the number one cause of collisions and injuries on UK roads each year.
2. Remove distractions
In a similar vein to the above, it’s essential to keep all potential distractions out of sight and out of mind. This means resisting the temptation to use your smartphone or any other electronic gadgets while driving, or distracting yourself with food, drinks, cigarettes and so on.
3. Confidence without aggression
This is a skill that can be difficult to master, but nonetheless keeps you and everyone else safe when things get chaotic and congested on the roads.
Merging with traffic at junctions, roundabouts and so on can be stressful, and is therefore something that should be done with calm confidence, rather than aggression.
4. Avoid late braking
Do not make the mistake of simply assuming that the driver in front will behave as you would expect them to. Instead, be aware of the fact that any motorist on the roads at any time could randomly and aggressively hit the brakes. Keep a safe distance and avoid late braking to reduce your risk of being involved in a collision.
5. Practice essential manoeuvres
If the idea of driving in reverse or turning in a narrow road fills you with terror, it’s your responsibility to work on your skills. Find a safe and quiet spot to practice as many essential manoeuvres as necessary, until you build the confidence to perform them safely when out and about in public.
6. Monitor your car’s condition
An annual service and MOT isn’t enough to guarantee the safety of your car throughout the year. Instead, it’s up to you to ensure that all important aspects of your car’s safety and performance are monitored and inspected on a regular basis. Brakes, lights, wipers, tyres, fluid levels and so on - essential safety factors that don’t automatically take care of themselves.
7. Take your time
Last but not least, one of the best things that you can do to become a better and safer driver is to take your time on the roads. Set off early where possible and accept that in some instances you may be late - a small price to pay to keep things safe. Rushing leads to aggressive driving habits, which are one of the biggest causes of accidents and injuries on the roads.