Driving Tips We All Need To Revise
Regardless of whether you’re a new driver on the road with a few weeks of solo driving time under your belt, or you’ve been behind the wheel of a car for years, there are some things that would be great for us to reminder. Here are some tips we may know but may have forgotten or neglected that would help to contribute to getting you and other people on the road safely to your destinations.
1. Plan your trip. This one goes without saying but it’s surprising how much we neglect this in the age of Google Maps and Waze. Especially if you’re travelling long distance, check ahead for weather conditions and hazards, and know ahead of time which lane you should be on instead of changing lanes abruptly.
2. Signal, signal, signal. There’s this little lever on the side of your steering wheel (depending on where your car is made) that works your blinkers/side signals (See picture). These little lights lets drivers know where you plan to go and doesn’t keep them guessing. Find that lever and use it. Don’t be that guy.
3. MELT. MELT stands for Minimum Eye Lead Time which is the distance ahead your eyes should be scanning. In urban areas, scanning high ahead, that’s about 12-15 seconds ahead (or about one city block). On the highway, that should be 20-30 seconds, or as far as the eye can see. Don’t be so fixated on the car or the road in front of you that you forget to look ahead to anticipate dangers instead of just reacting to them.
4. Keep your eyes moving. Knowing what’s around you is very important. Keep your eyes constantly scanning your rearview and side mirrors every 5-8 seconds. Glance, don’t look. This also allows the driver to maintain peripheral vision as staring at one object for more than 2 seconds causes you to become fixated and affect your vision.
5. Keep your distance. Ideally, your following speed should be 2 seconds behind the vehicle ahead in urban areas, and at least 3-4 seconds on the highway. Don’t know how to estimate? Pick a fixed point on the road, and count in thousands from the moment the car in front of you passes that point to the time when your car passes the point. For example, front car passes lamppost.. One thousand.. Two thousand.. Your car passes lamppost.
6. Blindspots. You have them, your car mirrors have them. When you are reversing or even changing lanes, always pivot to check out blindspots. Just because your mirrors tell you there’s nothing there does not mean there’s not a motorcycle hiding right where you can’t see him. At the same time, make sure you don’t stay in somebody else’s blindspots for more than 3 seconds as that poses a risk to you.
7. Wise words. “Don’t fight with trucks or buses, they’re bigger than you.”
8. Road rage. Tailgating, showing your finger, shouting, or leaning on your horn may be satisfying for you but dangerous. Always bring your dog: F.I.D.O. – Forget It, Drive On.
Hopefully these tips are reminders for us to drive safer. Save time, money, and heartache by driving defensively instead of offensively. Peace out and see you on the road!