If you're about to take your driver's test (or have already passed), you may feel like you know all there is to know about driving. But your parents or driving teachers may not have told you everything. Before you hit the road, take a minute to look over these driving tips that you might not have learned yet:
Adjust Your Mirrors - The Right Way
You probably know already that remembering to adjust your mirrors is important. However, you may not be doing it right, and you would be surprised to find out how many people do it wrong.
Most people adjust their mirrors so that they will be able to see both the road and some of their car in the reflection, but this is actually the wrong way to do it. If you want to increase the safety of your driving and decrease blind spots, you should adjust your mirrors so that you can't see the sides of your car at all - just the road and surrounding objects behind you.
Keep Your Headlights On - Even During Daytime
It may sound strange to keep your headlights on when it isn't dark, but hear us out. Keeping your headlights on all or most of the time may actually make you a safer driver. For one thing, headlights make you more visible to drivers, especially on overcast days. Drivers are more likely to notice you moving through their blind spots or coming over a hill if your headlights are on.
Besides making you more visible, keeping your headlights on will increase your visibility as well, especially when you are traveling through tunnels or heavily shaded areas.
Turn Your Music Off (or Down)
While listening to music in your car does make driving a lot more fun, it doesn't make it more safe. Studies have shown that people who drove without music or radio distractions were much more focused drivers than those who drove with music playing. This is because listening to music in your car is a type of multitasking; if you're focused on singing along to your favorite songs, or listening to a funny radio host, you're going to be less focused on driving.
When you first start driving on your own, consider driving without music for a while. If you must have music, keep the volume down and make an extra effort to focus on your surroundings. Also, try to stick to music with slower, more relaxed beats; people who listened to songs with faster tempos were more likely to drive recklessly and go through red lights.
Never Slam on the Brakes
Slippery conditions and sudden losses of traction (such as a tire blowout) are a couple of the most common causes of accidents. When you find yourself in one of these situations where you need to stop suddenly, your first instinct is probably to slam on the brakes. However, hitting your brakes is one of the worst things that you can do.
When you do have to stop quickly, take your foot off of the gas pedal and gently tap the brakes, letting your car gradually lose speed. Doing this gives you more control over your car, so that you can safely steer yourself in a better direction.
Pay Attention to Traffic Signs...But Pay More Attention to Traffic
It's important to watch for and obey traffic signs, but you have to remember that not every driver is paying attention. The first rule of defensive driving is to understand that their are many distracted drivers as well as drivers who just decide to ignore the rules. To keep yourself and your passengers safe, make sure to pay close attention to drivers as well as road signs.
When it comes to driving, like most things in life, there is always more to learn. Try putting these tips into practice to become a safer, better, and more informed driver.