There is no better driver than someone who just saw a police officer on the side of the road. For the rest of us, we all make driving mistakes, and most of the time, we don’t even realize it.
Take a look at these common distractions and aim to improve your driving. Better driving equals fewer accidents, which adds up to lower auto insurance premiums.
Whether it’s eating a burger, talking on the phone, or (yes this is true) surfing the web, doing anything other than driving while you’re behind the wheel is going to be a distraction. Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions but anything that takes your focus off of the road is a potential hazard.
Forgetting Basic Maintenance
Ignoring the check engine light is bad enough, but forgetting basic maintenance like regular oil changes, tire rotations, and getting your brakes checked can cause big, expensive problems later on. Plus, your call my stall in the middle of a busy intersection, causing a hazard for you and other drivers.
Being Too Hard on the Pedals
We love to slam our foot down on those pedals, don’t we? When you accelerate too quickly and jam the gas pedal down, you’re wasting gas. Braking too hard isn’t any better on your gas mileage but can also cause your brakes to wear out faster, requiring more brake pad and even rotor replacements.
Positioning Your Mirror
Sit in your car. What do you see when you look in the mirrors? If you answer, “The car” or “Myself” you’re doing it wrong. Your side mirrors should point behind you. You may see a little of your car, but you should not see the entire back door. Your rearview mirror is good for checking on your kids in the backseat, but it’s really supposed to be used to look behind your car while you’re driving.
Riding Your Brakes
Maybe you don’t brake too hard. Are you a chronic brake-rider? Sometimes you need to use your brakes to slow down, quickly or slowly. Other times, easing off of the accelerator will do the trick. When you ride your brake, you wear them out faster and you confuse drivers behind you who may not know if you’re preparing to stop or not.
Using Your High Beams at the Wrong Time
When you’re alone on a back road at midnight, your high beams are desperately needed. I-95 at dusk isn’t the right place. Not only is it bad manners to use high beams in traffic, you can also make it difficult for other drivers to see, which may cause an accident.
Choosing the Wrong Lane
The left lane is the passing lane. Get on any highway, and the reminders are everywhere. Slow traffic keep right. This allows faster moving vehicles to go around you without causing a back-up on a busy road. When you see someone coming up behind you and clearly driving faster than you, move to the right lane as soon as you can.
Turn Signal Confusion
Some drivers forget the turn signal exists, causing accidents when they make a quick turn that the person behind them wasn’t expecting. Other drivers remember it for their turn or lane change, but forget it soon after, leaving it on for miles and miles, which can cause a distraction to other drivers. Always be aware of your turn signal.
Going Too Fast on Wet Roads
Did you know that the speed limit sign on the road is the maximum safest speed on roads in perfect driving conditions? That means when the roads get wet, that speed is no longer the safe speed. Slowing down by 10 miles an hour is a much better option, especially when it’s raining. The first ten minutes after rain falls are the worst because the roads are slick with water and oil. Slow down in wet weather no matter how long it’s been raining.
We are all in danger of getting into the “zone” when we drive. We’re comfortable. We know where we’re going, and we just want to get there. Don’t let comfort cause mistakes. Those mistakes could lead to nasty accidents.