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Are You A Bad Driver? Here's How You Get Better

If you walk into a room and ask everyone if they think they're a good driver, most of them will undoubtedly say yes. Yet if you ask this same group of people how they would rate the average driver, most of them will answer that the average driver isn't very good.

You know what this means? None of us are as good at driving as we think we are. So, in an effort to improve both your driving and the safety of our roads, here are some things you can do:

Pay attention to the weather - This might sound like an easy tip, but is one that far too many drivers ignore. Weather has a tendency to turn everyone into a bad driver. When the roads are wet, make sure that you drive slowly and watch other drivers. Stay on alert to avoid hitting anyone that drives too fast or drives too slow. Look for any signs of black ice on the roads, which can cause vehicles to slip and slide on the road.

Use Turn Signals - Have you ever nearly had an accident because a driver in front suddenly slammed on his brakes and made a turn without using his turn signal? Maybe you saw an accident that occurred because of the same reason. Turn signals by nature inform other drivers that you are turning, which lets them adjust their speeds. Every time that you fail to use your turn signal, you risk a potential accident. You must warn other drivers of any incoming turns. This is a basic skill that you learn in driving school, but many drivers think it's a convenience and not a necessity.

Use the right speed - Using the right speed is an excellent way to ensure that you stop being a bad driver. This means that you should always follow the posted speed on signs in the area. If you pass through a construction zone, follow the new speed limit for the area. When you drive too fast or too slow for the area, you risk causing an accident by cars trying to maintain your speed or get around you.

Avoid distractions - Everyone knows that they should avoid distractions while on the road, but many do not realize what this means. Anything that requires you taking your eyes off the road is a distraction. This includes:

  • Changing the radio station
  • Putting on makeup
  • Eating
  • Checking on kids or pets in the backseat
  • Going through your purse or wallet
  • Talking on your cell phoneTexting

It only takes a few seconds for an accident to occur. When you take your eyes off the road for even five seconds, you cannot see what happens in front of you. Stay safe and avoid being a bad driver by avoiding any potential distractions.

Don't be Stupid – Everyone knows that drunk driving is deadly and stupid, yet a lot of people do it every day. Everyone knows that failing to wear a seat belt is stupid, yet many people fail to wear their seat belt. Everyone knows that tossing some stuff into the back of your truck and not tying it down isn't very smart, yet how often do we see people driving around with an unsecured load?

The list goes on and on. If you want to be safe, start by being smart. Don't do anything in your car that you wouldn't let your child or a loved one do. Avoid stupid driving behaviors at all times.

Author Jason Lancaster hopes you will use common sense when driving, and he'll try to do the same thing himself. For more driving tips, check out this article on towing safety and this one on what to do when your clutch cable breaks.