Mirror. Signal. Manoeuvre.
Mirror. Signal. Manoeuvre.
No doubt you heard this routine tip on so many occasions during your driving lessons it’s ingrained into your memory for life. Yet, as useful as these three little words may be – along with any other guidance you absorbed from your instructor during months trundling about with an “L” plate slapped to the side of your car – being a truly exceptional driver is about so much more than the mere essentials. Passing your test is one thing, but even the most experienced road users find themselves in accidents every single day.
Here, we highlight some of the secrets to superb driving. These could be tips that your instructor either failed to pass along all those years ago, or information that’s simply slipped to the back of your mind after getting behind the wheel hundreds of times.
Take Note Of Traffic – Not Just The Road Signs
Road signs are there for a reason. Any driver worth their salt will tell you that. But just because you follow them religiously doesn’t mean others will. Fellow road users can be frustratingly unpredictable, with some possessing a false sense of entitlement that certain signals don’t apply to them. The point is this: whilst you may drive in accordance with road instructions, others will not. To be an excellent driver, you need to remain aware of your surroundings and watch how the rest of the traffic is behaving. For example, if the intersection traffic light ahead of you is green, you can’t guarantee an overly ambitious driver to the left or right won’t come powering through in a last-ditch attempt to beat their own set of lights before they glow red. Take a second to look around before you drive forward to make sure the coast is clear. Responding to the surrounding traffic is key to becoming to a great driver.
Take A Plan On Board
Even seasoned drivers will be left scratching their heads when they venture into new areas of the country. If you’re driving to a location you’ve never visited before, it’s always worth planning the route beforehand – and arranging a Plan B just in case things go askew along the way. Sure, satellite navigation systems can help, but if you have a good idea of how you’re going to reach your destination before you even climb into the car, you’ll be ready for the different types of roads and signs at different points during the journey – increasing your safety and allowing you to drive without uncertainty or a distracting computerised voice wailing that you’ve taken the wrong turn.
Take Some Space For Yourself
Driving with a strong sense of anticipation is guaranteed to make you a better driver. Cautious drivers ensure to take some space for themselves on the road, always remaining a safe distance behind the car is in front and, if possible, allowing for some space on either side. By giving your vehicle some wiggle room on the road, you’ll grant yourself a precious pair of additional seconds to manoeuvre accordingly if anything happens around you, like a nearby car braking suddenly or experiencing an abrupt engine fault.
Take An Advanced Course
Driving is like anything else in life – you can always learn more. Whilst passing your test proves you know all the basics and beyond, you can go a step further to increasing your ability on the road by participating in an advanced course. These sessions usually involve tasks such as driving in difficult conditions or venturing into tricky territory in the night time, both of which can prove invaluable when it comes to staying safe on the road. What’s more, these courses can train you to avoid complacency and eliminate bad habits you may have picked up over time. If you enjoy driving and want to get better, an advanced course is undoubtedly worth a go.
Take A Break
On lengthy journeys where you’re pushed for time, it can be tempting to skip the service station break and push on through to the other side. It’s never worth it. If you have the opportunity to stop – take it. Stretching your legs for as little as five minutes can freshen up your mind and body, ensuring you don’t become drowsy on the long stretches of motorway that lie up ahead. The best drivers look after themselves, and by pulling over from time to time, you can ensure you can keep driving to the best of your ability.
Taking regular breaks can help you to feel comfortable whilst inside the car – and comfort is crucial when it comes to being a competent driver. If you’ve never really been 100% in love with your current vehicle or find that the mechanisms have never really suited your driving style, it may well be worth shopping around for a model that feels more “you”. When you find a vehicle that you’re “in tune” with, you’ll begin to see a noticeable improvement in your motor skills. Look at car dealerships such as Available Car or similar car supermarkets who can offer a large variety of cars for test driving as well as good advice.
The secrets to becoming a successful driver aren’t tricky or complex. They merely require patience and practice. Take every single one of these tips on board, and rest assured, you’ll get better behind the wheel with every passing day.