The “best drivers” are those who keep other drivers safe and aware. So how does one become a great driver? Well think back to when you were taking your driving exam and had to exaggerate every movement. You must keep yourself safe by first putting on your seat belt, making sure your passenger is fine, then go onto the road. There’s more to it than that, but the point is to make sure that you are as attentive as you were then.
Now, some drivers are good because they have kept some habits with them for their entire driving career and they can do all of it subconsciously. However, most people begin to forget the safe habits and develop habits that may cause accidents to happen. The easiest bad habit to pick on is going above the speed limit, especially on highways and wider roads in cities. Going ahead of the speed limit, even by 5 miles per hour, can cause serious harm and is illegal at the same time. Just think about this basic physics concept: the more speed something has, the more energy it contains, the more BOOM it will have upon impact. Speed limits are put on display to reduce fatal crashes, so try to respect the speed limit once again.
The next good habit you should remember to do is to keep a safe following distance. This is extremely important because tailgating can cause harm to you and the car in front of you. We need a larger reaction time, especially when driving at fast speeds. The general rule is to keep 2-3 seconds behind the car in front of you. Last second braking happens quite often, so keep the ones around you safe by increasing your distance and letting the car in front of you feel safe to brake last second if they have to.
The next habit can now be easily prevented with taxis, Uber, and Lyft, but many people still drink and drive. It is illegal because it is the cause of many fatal accidents. The mind is slower to react, and your body is not stable enough to keep a car straight. It is best to lend the wheel to someone else who is sober. Though you may not be credited as a great driver in this situation, at least you will not be known as a terrible one if you were to be behind the wheel.
Next, you must use your turn signals and indicate where you plan to go to the drivers around you. Everyone has seen drivers slipping between lanes, but they aren’t signaling. This is another big cause of accidents for obvious reasons. On a highway, keep your signal on for at least 5 seconds before changing lanes, before making a right turn keep your signal on for 100 feet, and be courteous enough to let others know your intentions when driving.
Lastly, keep your seat belt on and encourage others to have their seat belts on as well. You can get a ticket for not clicking it, but you will also cause serious harm to yourself if you were to get into an accident. Even if you are driving across the street to get groceries, just have a seat belt on anyways because even a “soft” accident can push you into your steering wheel or give you whiplash if you do not have a seat belt to reduce some of the impact. These habits make others acknowledge you as a safe and great driver, which is one of the best title you can receive in your life. It is one thing to properly keep yourself safe, but there is something to having others trusting you with their lives, which is both stressful but also an honor. So, keep aware of other drivers, take all the precautions, and let your passengers know that you are a great driver by doing all of the above.