There are plenty of bad habits that we see each year on the road; driving too aggressively, treating traffic signs as suggestions, neglecting to secure towing loads all play a part in sending people unexpectedly to the auto repair shop (to say nothing of the hospital). But not every driver is a bad one, and that goes for driving habits as well. In fact, there are many extremely thoughtful and safe drivers whose good driving techniques are the difference makers in protected so many from roadside emergencies.
While it is extremely important to take personal responsibility for one’s own driving and ask pertinent questions about how we can improve, it is also important to celebrate all that is going right and acknowledge how some drivers are becoming part of the safety solution.
Good Habits from Safe Drivers
At first blush, it might seem unhelpful to ask “what makes a good driver?” After all, aren’t all the people who avoid getting into accidents good drivers? Maybe it’s too big of a question, or too simple of an answer. Neglecting to look at good habits is an investment in bad driving, however, and we all know how narrowly some bad drivers miss getting into accidents. Below are a few of the most definitive good habits, derived not just from good sense but because they stand in direct opposition to the bad habits that most often cause accidents.
- Understanding One’s Limits. This is an admittedly broad term to describe a reminder that lives in the head of every safe driver. Understanding one’s limits includes knowing not just what you are capable of as a driver﹘namely knowing how tired you are, or how comfortable you are driving at night or during rush hour traffic, for example﹘but knowing what your vehicle is capable of as well. A semi, for instance, can’t maneuver like a sports car. Being honest with yourself is what keeps roads safe by dovetailing directly into our next point.
- Driving Defensively. Just like aggressive driving has often been a catalyst for many unnecessary trips to the auto repair shop, driving defensively﹘that is, promoting the safety of everyone on the road by driving unselfishly﹘has saved countless lives and a lot of money in car repairs. Defensive driving doesn’t have to mean timid driving, but it does mean driving without the artificial pride of needing to be first to the light or of owning the lane all to yourself.
- Driving Without Artificial Distractions. How many accidents would you say are caused by a driver who is distracted by their cell phone? Would you believe 1 crash in 4? Of all the bad habits that occur on the roads, cell phone use while driving constitutes a legitimate epidemic in our country. At this point, putting away the cell phone might just be the safest thing that anyone can do when they drive.
- Driving Slower. Akin to driving aggressively, people who are consistently pushing the envelope of the speed limit (or habitually exceeding it) are more likely to wind up with a traffic citation and a car in need of auto repairs. Since so many accidents occur within a mile or two of a driver’s home, it is clear that most people who speed are doing so within or around residential areas. Safe drivers aren’t interested in getting somewhere quickly at the expense of someone’s safety.
- Wearing a Seat Belt. When seat belts were first installed, it was not against the law to ignore wearing them. Today, a hefty fine accompanies a traffic citation if a driver is caught not wearing their seat belt. While this has increased seat belt usage considerably, inherently safe drivers don’t need a threat to their wallet for motivation to wear safety gear﹘they simply want to remain safe. In this sense, good drivers also lead by example for their contemporaries who are still on the fence about seat belt wearing.
While there will always be extenuating circumstances that will get good drivers into bad situations, the majority of safety-oriented drivers will remain free of the most easily avoidable situations purely due to their selflessness and clearheadedness. By driving safely, you ensure that neither you nor the driver in the car next to you will need to search for an auto repair shop any time soon. For all the other unfortunate situations, the experts at Master Muffler in West Jordan are there to help you.