Cars have come a long way in terms of safety over the years. (Anyone remember the days when we didn’t have seatbelts?) Still, there’s a lot to say about driver safety or, rather, the lack of it. Face it, we all make mistakes when we get behind the wheel. We’ve assembled some helpful little known tips to keep you driving safely for many years to come!
Let the speed demons pass
It’s easy to get competitive when some jerk behind you is riding your bumper. The best thing you can do is keep to the right and let them pass when you can. If you’re on a single lane road, look for a place to pull off safely if they won’t back off. Not only will they be the only one getting into trouble with highway patrol, you’ll avoid a fender bender, or worse.
Look at where you want to go
It’s pretty common sense, but a lot of drivers pay attention only to the road right in front of them. This is especially dangerous around curves and turns. Paying attention to what’s going on in the distance also keeps you aware of obstructions.
Assume the worst about other drivers
You never know what’s going on in other vehicles, so it’s best to be a little paranoid and assume they aren’t paying attention. Distracted drivers are worst than drunk drivers, so be prepared for sudden swerves or stops because others are texting or digging around for snacks in the next seat.
Keep your car out of your side mirrors
The only thing you should see in your side mirrors is your blind spots. The reflection of your car takes up valuable real estate that should be dedicated to seeing what’s behind you. Adjust your mirrors so no part of your car is visible and you’ll maximize your blind spot awareness.
Be nice when you’re pulled over
Everyone hates getting stopped by a cop and it’s easy to get defensive when you feel like you did nothing wrong. Despite what you see on the news, most traffic cops only have your safety in mind. If you’re nice and understanding, the officer may let you go with a warning if the infraction wasn’t severe.
Go the same speed as the traffic you’re merging into
This is a particular headache when merging onto a ramp off a highway. Most ramps do have a speed limit that you should follow, but don’t slow down too much just because you’re merging. This is not only aggravating for other drivers, it puts you in danger of getting hit by those travelling at the limit or beyond. In this case, it’s more beneficial to be aware of the traffic rather than the road signs.
Be selective about what music you listen to in the car
This isn’t just crotchety old grandma advice telling you to turn down that infernal electronica; scientific evidence has shown that music with a higher tempo plays with a driver’s psychology, making them more likely to drive aggressively. Those who listen to calmer, quieter tunes had fewer accidents and were less prone to feeling “road rage”.