Most drivers have a tendency to over-estimate their driving ability and under-estimate the risk. This is especially true when learning to drive or are newly licensed, however it also applies to experienced drivers whereby a complacency starts to creep in. Sound familiar??
Keep your eyes moving
Many people only look ahead of them when driving. This means they’re not getting the full picture of what’s happening on the road.
As well as looking ahead, you should also use your mirrors to look to the sides and behind often, to be aware of surrounding traffic. This will help you spot potentially dangerous situations that could be forming around or behind you.
Moving your eyes regularly and concentrating on what’s going on around you will also help you to stay alert on long journeys.
Arriving against the clock creates pressure and increases the temptation to bend rules. Be realistic. It won’t always take 20 minutes to drive across town to your workplace or eight minutes to drive to a friend’s house.
The two-second rule describes what is regarded as a safe following distance on the open road. At 100km/h those two seconds equate to 55m of travel. At 50km/h, it is 27.5m. Double that in wet or greasy conditions and reduce your approach speed to roundabouts and intersections.
Driver reaction time, road conditions, tyre condition, reduced visibility and vehicle capability can all increase stopping distances. Slow down in the wet and increase following distances because tyre contact patches are less effective and those of worn tyres especially so.
Correct seating position involves a clear line of sight above the steering wheel, hands at nine and three, pedals pressed by the ball of foot, weight ok, each arm split between wrist and shoulder, and right thigh horizontal, so you’re braking with quad muscles, not an ankle flex.
Work out a plan for safely managing your phone and stick to it. We all know that messaging while driving is especially dangerous. Hands-free is the answer if you must make or receive calls while driving.
A very good driver tends to be a very good passenger, one that remains engaged, sets a positive tone, respects a driver’s need to concentrate.
All the Team at Hansens wish you safe travels