Developing good driving skills and habits is imperative to ensuring your safety, and the safety of other road users.
The longevity of your driving life relies heavily upon your actions and attitude while on the road. In today’s blog post, we will outline the qualities of a good driver and the factors to be aware of when considering how to improve driving habits.
Qualities of a good driver
Sticking to the speed limit
One of the main (and obvious) qualities of a good driver is knowing how to stick to the speed limit. Road accidents are often caused by people who fail to stick to the speed limit, and therefore cannot adequately control the vehicle to avoid a dangerous situation. This is particularly evident over holiday periods. So be sure to always drive to the conditions and and any variables that are in play – even if you are running late for that family lunch or important work meeting. Your safety and life, ALWAYS takes priority.
Keeping a safe distance
The attitude of a good driver can also be measured by the distance left between their car, and the car in front of them. It is important to leave a 2-3 second gap between ourselves and the car in front of us. This is because it will give you ample time to stop your car (and avoid hitting the car in front of you) should they, for whatever reason, have to come to a sudden stop. If you have maintained a safe distance – you and your vehicle should be able to avoid an accident. Tailgating can also cause the driver in front of you to become nervous and make silly driving actions, which can be incredibly dangerous. Keeping a safe distance is certainly a good driving skill to possess.
Always indicating and checking blind spots
It is incredibly frustrating and dangerous when a fellow road user fails to indicate before merging into your lane, or cuts you off because they have failed to check their blind spot correctly, if at all. These near misses are unnecessary and many accidents are caused by drivers who have not developed good driving qualities for life. It is very important to always indicate when turning or changing lanes. Don’t forget to also indicate when pulling out of a parking spot. Checking your blind spots are also imperative to ensuring safe merging.
Possessing defensive driving skills
One of the most important qualities of a good driver is possessing defensive driving skills. This usually comes with experience, and entails being able to anticipate the actions of other road users. Things such as observation, hazard perception and accident avoidance are all critical skills which mark a great driver. Our Drive For Life System ensures that you develop these necessary skills so you can learn to become a confident and safe driver for life! It is a combination of all the required driving skills that are needed for longevity on the roads, plus some additional attitude and awareness skills that transform you into a proactive driver.
Parking with precision
Getting from A to B is great, but knowing what to do once you’re there is even better! Parking can sometimes be the last thing a student learns during their driving lessons but it is such an integral skill to possess. Whether its reverse parallel parking, or just parking between the lines at the local supermarket, knowing how to do so correctly is indicative of good driving skills. Parking unsafely might mean that your vehicle causes a hazard to other road users, so be sure to refine and perfect this skill.
Need help in developing good driving qualities? Explore our learn to drive packages for East Melbourne today.
Learn good driving skills and habits
Good driving habits list
- Put the phone away
Did you know that it is actually illegal for P Platers to use their phones as a GPS while driving? Even once you’re off your P’s, you are unable to touch your phone while your keys are still in the ignition. Get into the habit of popping your phone into your bag or glove box so this distraction can be securely stored away until you’ve reached your destination.
- Turn the music down
Loud music can also serve as a big distraction, particularly when you’re inexperienced and new to driving. Get into the habit of driving with the music at an adequate volume so you can still enjoy your tunes without the danger of your musical solo debut taking priority over the road ahead!
- Buckle up
It may seem obvious but people still need to be reminded about the importance of putting on their seatbelt. Many fatalities are caused by road users who have been thrown from the vehicle at the time of an accident, due to not being buckled up. Unnecessary deaths can be prevented by wearing your seatbelt and this is a good driving habit to possess, not only when you’re driving – but also as a passenger.
- Don’t drive when tired
If you’re feeling fatigued, unwell or sick – have a safety net – a good friend or family member you can call on to come and pick you up, or take you to where you need to go. It’s not worth the risk to yourself or other drivers on the road. Develop a healthy habit of asking for help when needed, and return the favour if your friend ever needs a lift. If nobody is available to help – call an Uber or a cab. These options are far safer than falling asleep at the wheel. The same options can be used if you have been drinking!
- Turn on headlights in poor visibility conditions
Driving through a dark tunnel? Is it pouring rain and hail outside? Can’t see 150m in front of you? Turn on those headlights! A good habit of a skilled driver is using those headlights in conditions which present poor visibility. Make sure you develop this habit to ensure your safety, and increase your visibility to other road users. If you can’t see well in those kinds of conditions, other drivers likely can’t see you without your lights on either!
These are some of the essential driving skills and habits we teach our students in their driving lessons. For more information about how we nurture good drivers for life, read our story here.