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Most people will let their driving slip after sitting their test. Over time, we tend to develop our own style, which can include bad driving habits. Although we may think we’re superior drivers to our fellow road users, we’re not always conscious of our own behaviour. Nobody is expected to drive with the same rigid caution as they did during their driving test. However, it’s important not to become too liberal either.
So, try to be conscious of your driving. If you discover any dangerous tendencies, nip them in the bud so that you can make the road a safer place for everyone. Here are some of the most common bad driving habits among road users. Are you guilty of any?
Sure, drive-thrus can be tempting, especially when you’ve been on the road for a while. But eating while you’re in the driver’s seat is very distracting. Not only are you focusing your attention on something else, but you’re using your hands to do two things at once. All of this means that essentially, you are not in full control.
The solution is simple: eat your food while your car is stopped. If you’ve used a drive-thru, slide into a car parking space and chow down there instead. You’ll find it’s much more enjoyable this way. If you’re eating behind the wheel to simply save time, that’s not a good enough reason to potentially endanger your life and that of other drivers.
On a solo road trip and can’t find the right station to keep you entertained? We’ve all been there. While it’s sometimes harmless switching radio stations, if you’re diverting your gaze from the road to the radio, this can be a major distraction from what’s ahead of you.
Find the right radio station before hitting the road. If you start to lose connection, pull in somewhere to find something else. Or alternatively, make a playlist on your phone, or have a few podcasts downloaded to keep you stimulated.
Using your phone while driving is one of the biggest causes of road accidents today. Talking on the phone/texting means your hands are occupied, so you can’t focus on what’s in front of you. Your attention is diverted to your screen, or to the conversation you’re having. If you have a phone to your ear, your hearing can also be obstructed, which is a big no-no. There is never a good enough excuse to use your phone while your car is moving.
Luckily, modern technology means you can connect your phone to your car via Bluetooth in most new models. This means you can chat away to your heart’s content safely and hands-free. As for texting, the only time you can do so in a car is when it’s stopped safely.
Keeping your driving in check is tricky enough. But trying to do so while also trying to keep kids in the backseat under control is the real challenge. Parents know of this headache all too well.
We’re not going to teach you how to handle your kids, but it’s important to keep children occupied on long trips. When you’re young, time seems to trickle by much more slowly. Therefore, drives can feel like a lifetime, and children get bored very easily. Youngsters are also much more prone to car sickness. We suggest bringing plenty of toys and games along with you, as well as a few treats to reward good behaviour. Make sure to bring plenty of water too.
Sometimes, you can’t escape driving when you’re tired. You may have a rough night’s sleep, but you still need to be in work the next morning. However, whenever you can, avoid driving while you’re drowsy at all costs. Research shows that sleepy driving is just as bad, or even worse, than driving while intoxicated. Yikes! It’s dangerously easy to doze off while behind the wheel. Sometimes, you’re body simply can’t fight it. And this rarely ends well.
Try to make alternative travel arrangements if you feel too tired to drive to work. See if you can carpool, grab a taxi or take public transport. Sure, it might be a little inconvenient. But it’s a small price to pay for safety. If you feel yourself getting sleepy on the road, pull in somewhere safe, and take a power nap.
Most of us are guilty of speeding once in a while. However, this never makes it okay. Speed limits exist for a reason. What’s even more reckless is driving too fast in dangerous conditions. If it’s icy outside, the risk of skidding and losing control is high. In heavy rains and strong winds, visibility is reduced and the grip on the road is worse.
Always take the weather into account when it comes to driving. Reduce your speed considerably, and focus on your surroundings.
Tailgating is when you drive too close to the car in front of you. Not only does this come off as aggressive and intrusive, but it’s also extremely dangerous. If the car ahead of you slowed down suddenly or stopped for any reason, you would crash into them from behind. Even if nobody is injured, you will still be liable for any damage caused.
You should have a full car length between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 16km per hour you travel. So, if you’re driving down the interstate at 110km per hour, there should be 7 car lengths between you and the car ahead. If you feel yourself veering too close, back off a little.
The truth is that we’re all bad drivers in one way or another, we just don’t realise it. But let’s become conscious of our bad driving habits, and make the road a better, safer place to share.
At Motor Matcher, we value our customers’ safety as well as finding them the perfect car at an affordable price. At MotorMatcher, you can tell us what your ideal car is and we’ll try to make it happen. You can also check out our website to look for readily available cars.
Visit our site at www.motormatcher.com.au to find out more.