We all like to think we’re good drivers, but over time it’s easy to slip into bad habits. The reality is that even if you reckon you’re fantastic behind the wheel, you can always improve your driving. And you can start today – try making these small changes to the way you drive and you’ll be well on your way from good to great!
Easy does it
You can save around 20% in fuel simply by accelerating and slowing down in a smooth, controlled fashion. Reading the road, anticipating hazards ahead and not hurtling towards junctions or roundabouts will not only make for a more pleasant ride for any passengers travelling with you, but will make each tank of fuel go that much further.
We’ve all encountered them before – the idiots behind you who drive so close you can see the whether or not their pupils are dilated. Not only is tailgating very dangerous (it leaves little room for braking should you need to), but it can be extremely annoying for the driver in front and can lead to road rage.
Think back to those early driving lessons with your instructor – remember those sayings they’d keep repeating? “Only a fool breaks the two second rule” is a great way to do a spot check if you’re too close to the vehicle in front – look for a fixed point like a lamp post, bridge or road sign. If you pass this before you’ve finished saying the phrase aloud, you’re too close and need to back off.
And if a fellow driver pulls into the gap in front, the advice is simple – just back off to increase the gap again.
The volume of traffic in towns and cities means you’ll be driving at slower speeds, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to be any less vigilant behind the wheel.
Improve your driving by consciously paying attention to speed limits – more and more towns are introducing new 20mph limits, particularly around school entrances and other areas where children may be gathered.
You’re also more likely to encounter traffic lights, whether at crossroads, roundabouts or pedestrian crossings. Remember that can change from green to amber at any moment and you must be ready to bring your vehicle to a stop when that happens.
Use your headlights properly
Don’t be that person that dazzles oncoming traffic by forgetting to dip your lights. And if you’re being dazzled by another motorist, try to avoid looking at the headlights.
In foggy conditions, you must use headlights when your visibility is significantly reduced. If you can’t see more than 100 metres ahead of you, it’s time to turn on your headlights AND rear fog lights (and if you have front fog lights fitted, those too). Just don’t forget to turn them off again if conditions improve – they can dazzle other motorists and you could even be fined by the police.
Harsh braking puts unnecessary wear and tear on your brakes and your tyres, both of which are expensive to replace. Instead, improve your driving by braking progressively – start gently, steadily increase the pressure on the brake and ease off as you come to a stop.
Other motorists will be able to react better to your actions and better still, you’ll save fuel too.
Don’t exceed the speed limits
Breaking the speed limit is against the law – if caught you could be fined and have points added to your license which are likely to bump up the cost of your motor insurance.
Excessive speed increases the risk of being involved in an accident, thus endangering the lives of you, other motorists and nearby pedestrians. Plus, the faster you drive, the more fuel you’ll use. The speed limits exist for a reason, and as tempting as it is to exceed them, it’s just not worth it.
Don’t use your phone while driving
Using your mobile phone while driving is crazy. It draws your attention away from the road and no text message, tweet or Facebook update is so important that it should take your eye off your surroundings while behind the wheel.
Instead, why not download the KronoVisor app and use a windscreen mount to use it as a full-feature dashcam and improve your driving by remaining hands-free?