Every driver makes silly mistakes from time to time – but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore them. Knowing the most common mistakes that drivers make and assessing whether you tend to make these mistakes can help you to become a much better driver. You might not even realize that you’re doing any of the things listed here, until you read through them.
Take a look at some of the mistakes you could be making:
Looking At Your Phone ‘Just For A Second’
Mobile phones are one of the biggest reasons for distracted driving. We’re so addicted to our phones these days, that we can struggle to put them down even for a few minutes while we’re doing something as dangerous as driving a vehicle!
You need to allow yourself to become more detached from your technology. Looking at your phone even for a second can cost you your life, or the life of somebody else. The best thing you can do to avoid this impulse is to put your phone on silent or turn it off, and leave it in your bag or your glovebox. If you must, you can download an app that will read your texts aloud to you while you drive so you don’t feel the need to touch your phone at all. However, if you know you can’t resist temptation, it might be best to get rid of it all together and turn it off before putting it somewhere you can’t reach it.
Not Turning When You Indicate
Picture the scene: you’re driving along, and you indicate to make the next turn. However, at the last second, you realize that this is the wrong turn. What do you do? In an ideal world, you’d take the turn anyway and either pull over or turn around safely, or adjust your route. However, many people have made the mistake of deciding not to turn at the last second and ended up in a collision. While the car behind you may not have the best etiquette by trying to go around you before you’ve even turned, you’ll be at fault for the collision if you indicated but didn’t take the turn. Always take the turn if you’ve indicated and you’re already at the turn. The only time it may be ok for you to do otherwise is if the roads are empty.
Allowing Yourself To Get Distracted
Aside from your mobile phone, there are many other things that can distract you while you’re on the road. Whether you’re fiddling with the radio as you drive or speaking to a talkative passenger, these things will stop you from driving as well as you could be driving. Make sure you sort things out before you set out; set up your sat nav, tune the radio, and have everything in place so you have no excuse. If your passenger is talkative, only answer when you’re confident about where you’re going – and don’t be afraid to let them do most of the talking.
Getting Too Worked Up On The Road
It can be easy to get yourself all worked up while driving, especially if you don’t know where you’re going or something else is going on. The more you let yourself get worked up, the worse you’ll feel. If you can feel yourself getting stressed out on the road, take deep breaths until you feel calmer. It sounds like a cliche, but it works. If you have to, pull over until you’ve calmed down. If you know you’re an anxious driver, try the following tips:
- Listen to relaxing music quietly while you drive
- Invest in a satnav or app to help you get to your destination
- Always wear your seat belt and make sure your car is safe to drive
- Try not to drive in adverse conditions
- Drive when the roads aren’t too busy
Eventually, you should build your confidence up enough to feel confident in any driving situation. Practice makes perfect when out on the road.
Not Adequately Preparing For Long Drives
Preparing for long drives properly could save your life. Is your car safe? Have you checked the tire pressure, and changed the oil? Do you have enough gas in the tank? Do you know where you’re going to stop for refreshments/gas/and sleep? Have you taken the time to sign up for a defensive driving course so you’re prepared for anything? These tips will help you in all situations, especially long drives. Lots of people risk driving their car without checking it out or working out where they’ll stop to get some sleep, but they are taking a huge risk that isn’t worth the consequences.
Ignoring Warning Signs From Your Vehicle
If your vehicle is warning you about something, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Occasionally, the light may have shown as a mistake and disappear, but you should take your car to get looked at ASAP rather than waiting for it to go away on its own.
Riding The Clutch
Riding the clutch is a dangerous driver error that lots of drivers make. If you’re changing gear and keeping your foot on the clutch while you drive/turn, you’re going to wear your clutch down, as well as have less control over your vehicle. You have far more chance of losing control of your vehicle while riding the clutch than any other time.
Ignoring Your Mirror Positioning
Your mirrors need to be positioned perfectly so that you can see by just moving your eyes, rather than your head. If you’re over six foot tall, you’ll need to position your mirrors so that you can see your blind spots by overlapping your rear view mirror. Make sure you check that your mirrors are in the correct position every time you get in the car.
If you drive, make sure you avoid these mistakes while out on the road at all costs. Making the mistakes listed here could mean making a silly mistake with big consequences.