As a driver, do you…
Being involved in road safety for almost 27 years has taught me to be specific. Training any driver of any experience level it always came down to explaining what I wanted them to do, not what I didn’t want them to do. Such as the old saying; “we don’t say don’t” when giving instructions. With this in mind, I thought it may be a good time to begin a series of things we should do while driving.
Do you… look well ahead of your vehicle while driving? I’m not talking 2 or 3 vehicles ahead. I’m talking at least 2 blocks in the city or at least 15 seconds from where you currently are. This gives you a better idea of the traffic pattern ahead of you and gives you enough notice to determine if a lane change is needed or if you should begin slowing down.
Do you… anticipate potential problems by moving your eyes from building to building, not just curb to curb? Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians aren’t always on the road to initiate trouble. They often begin their journey away from the road. Finding them before they reach the road gives you more time to respond safely and smoothly.
Do you… check intersections before entering to ensure they’re clear? Just because you have a green light doesn’t mean it’s safe to enter. A red light doesn’t stop the vehicle. A driver stops the vehicle. If you check the intersection before walking across the street, why not check it before driving across the street?
Do you… often get surprised when a vehicle suddenly passes you? If so, you need to check your mirrors more often. Checking them at least every couple of blocks, but also before slowing, while stopped and after turns keeps you up to date with traffic behind. This can help you make better driving choices.
Do you… mainly drive in the same lane all the time? Learning to choose the lane that gives you the best view, the best flow and the least risk is a good practice. If you’re in the left lane and a driver approaches you from behind, move over to let them pass. This keeps the flow of traffic moving and allows for a cooperative driving culture.
Do you… wait to turn left with your wheels straight or angled? Waiting with your wheels straight will give you the opportunity to escape straight if the driver behind can’t stop in time. Leaving your wheels angled means more time to get out of the way in case of an emergency. The worst case is if your wheels are angled and you get hit from behind you could be pushed into oncoming traffic. Waiting you’re your wheels straight means being pushed into neutral space.
So, how did you do? Are you doing many of these techniques or are they new to you? Having reminders is a way of life. Consider these to be reminders to help you become or remain a safe driver. If you need more information, please use the search function to the right of this page and find your topic of interest.