There’s always room for growth. Driving improvement can happen every day. If we put effort into doing something, we can make it happen. Driving safe not only benefits you, but also your fellow drivers and pedestrians. Here, we will discuss some ways you can improve your driving.
Driving Improvement: What You Can Do
Adjust Your Mirrors
Every once in a while, it’s good to check and readjust your mirrors. Your sideview mirrors can get out of whack from car washes and other impacts. Your rearview mirror can be easily adjusted. This will increase your driving improvement immediately!
The old positions were at 10 and 2 on the wheel, but now more experts are saying to put your hands at 9 and 3. This gives you a better, more relaxed feeling behind the wheel which will help your driving improvement. In addition to being more relaxed, you will also have more control of the wheel. Which, ultimately, means more control of the vehicle as a whole.
Your driving improvement can begin when you understand that sometimes you just don’t need to drive. If you are sleepy or emotional, it can impair your ability to drive safely. If you are feeling at all distracted or tired, keeping off the road is your best bet. You can take a nap or ask someone else to drive. Whatever it is can wait until you feel at your best again!
Take a Class
A refresher driving class, a defensive driving class, or anywhere else you can relearn the rules of the road might help. If you are feeling you need driving improvement, taking a class is an inexpensive idea to really help your everyday life.
It’s the most basic thing you can control in your car. You control how much you are pushing your gas pedal. Your driving improvement can start with just relaxing on the gas. Speeding doesn’t get you anywhere much faster than you would by obeying the speed limit. It also just puts you and other drivers in danger. Speed limits are set to take into account road conditions and traffic patterns.
Most everyone drives. It’s common for everyone to have a vehicle that they utilize daily. If you drive 360 days out of the year, there’s a chance you could receive a traffic citation at some point in your life. Even the most common traffic infractions can result in costly tickets, spiked insurance rates, or potentially driver’s license suspension. So… in what scenarios should I be a little extra careful?
Common Traffic Infractions: Ticket Types
The most common, speeding is an easy way to find yourself pulled over. The officer can pull you over for going one mile over the speed limit. A staple in the line up of common traffic infractions, speeding is usually easy to detect. To avoid this, be aware of the posted speed limit at all times.
If you are racing or failing to pull over, you could end up with a reckless driving ticket. Because it is prohibited in most states, reckless driving is the more severe citation of the common traffic infractions. You can avoid reckless driving by driving courteously and respecting posted traffic devices.
Distracted driving is amongst the most dangerous common traffic infractions. Talking or texting on a cell phone is prohibited in most states. Distracted driving can include other devices, not paying attention to the road, and other minor actions that can cause accidents. These citations are for the safety of you and the other drivers.
Running a Red Light
If you fail to stop at a red light or a stop sign, you are putting yourself and others in danger. Common traffic infractions are meant to ensure the safety of all on the road. Also, an officer can consider “rolling through” a stop sign or red light as running a red light. Slowing down is not a stop. You could still receive a citation for this.
Leaving the Scene
The thought of common traffic infractions usually does not include accidents. But leaving the scene after an accident could leave you in large trouble. If there was an injury in the accident, there is a responsibility of the driver to stay. Leaving the scene will be an additional citation and any reductions of charges may not happen in these cases.
These days, carpooling has become something that many workers do on their commutes. In fact, you might know someone who carpools themselves. But what are the benefits attached to this? As it turns out, there are a good amount of reasons for why people choose to carpool…
Carpooling: What Are the Benefits?
One of the nice effects of carpooling is that it makes the roads safer. The more people who are in a carpool, the less number of cars there are on the road. Of course, when there’s less drivers on the road, they become safer as the risk of accidents is reduced.
Not only are the roads safer, but carpools also help reduce traffic congestion. Overall, not only do they reduce the risk of accidents and stress levels of other drivers, they also help speed up you commute as well. Plus, they also help keep your insurance rates down as you lessen the chance of your car ending up in an accident.
Save money on gas
Another benefit to carpooling is how it helps you save money. Paying for gas for your commute can get pretty pricey, especially if your workplace is far from your house. However, if you carpool, your gas costs will go down quite considerably.
Most carpools will have everyone chip in a bit to cover the gas costs for the person whose car they’re using. Still, this will tend to end up being a lot less than you would pay on your own. Therefore, carpools are a great way to save a bit of extra money every week.
Better for the environment
Another great benefit of carpooling is how it helps the environment. An unfortunate side-effect of driving is the carbon dioxide it creates through the exhaust. In fact, a typical car emits about 4.6 tons of it a year! With how important cars are in our society, that all adds up quite quickly.
However, when you carpool, those emissions go down considerably. A carpool can get multiple people to a place while only giving off the emissions of a single car. That’s why carpools are great if you’re trying to cut down on your carbon footprint.
No one gets in the car in the morning and says “I hope I get a ticket today”. Unfortunately, just because you don’t want a ticket, doesn’t mean you won’t get one. Mistakes happen and sometimes you’re in the perfect place for an officer to see your mistake. This is okay, as it happens to most of us at some point in our lives. If you’ve found yourself with a traffic court day that you’ve been subpoenaed to, here’s what you can expect…
Traffic Court Day: What to Expect
Just getting in to most court houses is a big deal. Some will confiscate your phones if you attempt to bring them in. Others allow them. Since phones can be a distraction and a nuisance, it might be best to leave yours in the car or at home. Make sure you arrive on time on your scheduled traffic court day.
Also, remember that you will not be the only one in court. Since the procedures for traffic court are routine, they will happen very quickly and other cases are waiting as well. Usually, you will be sworn in as a group on traffic court day.
The State Vs. You
When it’s your turn on traffic court day, the clerk will call your name. Once you hear your name, go to the witness box or the table. Since some courts are a little smaller, sometimes there’s just a table for traffic court instead of a “box”. It’s less intimidating this way. Once you’re there, follow the requests of the judge and the officers. Answer politely and respectfully. Remember not to interrupt anyone and wait for your turn to speak.
Things to Remember
It’s always important to dress the part on traffic court day. This goes for any court, really. This shows respect for the court and the judge. It’s best to take time and prepare for the day. Bring all necessary documents or evidence, and have it ready. Also keep in mind that if the issuing officer fails to show up to court, it does not necessarily mean that there judge will dismiss your case. Additionally, officers are usually trusted by the courts, so it’s best to not bad mouth them within the courtroom.
We all can use fuel conservation tips to help when it comes to driving. You might be living off campus now, the kids are in school, and let’s face it— you might be looking to take an extra drive through those newly Fall-colored mountains. However, you might be looking for ways to keep those fuel costs to a minimum while still enjoying yourself
Fuel Conservation Tips: Saving Your Savings
If you and the neighbors have children attending the same day camps, try alternating days in a carpool. Similarly, you could suggest dropping them off if they pick the kids up. Carpooling works for all sorts of activities. You can also utilize carpooling for work and social events for additional fuel conservation.
Make a Single Trip
If you can, try to run all of your errands in one trip. For ideal fuel conservation, try to run them on your way home from work since you’ll already be out. If you can, park in one spot and walk to each place you need to get things. Turning the engine on and off for short spurts of time can begin to reduce your gas. Don’t use your trunk to store your belongings for too long, though! A heavier car will use more fuel.
Maintain Your Vehicle
With clean air filters and recommended tire pressure, your fuel conservation will add up. Dirty filters and low tire pressure can reduce fuel economy. Keeping your gas tank at a quarter full will aid in getting the most out of your gas. In addition to maintaining your vehicle, you should drive with more anticipation.
Stopping and accelerating with force will reduce your fuel conservation. Accelerate gradually and stop slowly. Driving the speed limit will also help save your gas! You should warm your vehicle too, but not for too long. Long warm ups are a waste of gas.
It’s not possible for everyone to get a smaller, lighter car. However, if it is for you, try to get a smaller car for long trips. Even day to day, a smaller car will save you money. If you can work from home, try to do that to reach your goal of fuel conservation.
Driving, no matter how often we do it, is a dangerous act that requires skill, attention, and multitasking. While most of us take to the roadways every single day, there are plenty of drivers who fail to observe the basic rules of the road. Due to risky drivers, amongst other factors, it’s important that all of us take part in defensive driving. Defensive driving essentially means to drive with correct habits, and stay alert to present, and potential, dangers in the roadway.
While most of us do this to some degree, there are many others who don’t understand exactly how to go about it. So, we’re here to help. Below, you will find some basic tips for defensive driving and protecting yourself from potential accidents…
Defensive Driving: Tips for Staying Alert and Safe
Focus on the Task at Hand
One quick way to put yourself at risk, is to stop defensive driving and become distracted. Distractions keep you from being alert in terms of road conditions, and drivers around you. Distractions are everywhere, and we often indulge just a little bit. From answering a phone call, a text, and changing the song on the radio— taking your eyes, or mind, off of the road can be quite dangerous. Instead, focus on your surroundings. Answer the call or text later, make your playlist ahead of time, and keep your eyes on the road.
When In Doubt, Yield
Many accidents come from uncertainty about who has the right of way. Should you go? Or is it their turn? An inability to make quick decisions, and slight hesitation, can lead to an accident in an instant. So, if you aren’t sure about oncoming cars, a stop sign, or a yield— wait for the space to clear, and then take your turn. However, there are plenty of defensive driving techniques and road rules as to how to handle these situations. If you find that you’re unsure, do a little research in your time off of the road.
One rule of thumb I always use for stop signs, is to ‘peel off layers’ of cars. The first person to make a full stop takes their turn, then another person, and continue this pattern from all sides of the stop. Take some time, learn standard protocol, and become a better driver. We can all do things to become better drivers.
Watch for Blind Spots
Blind spots are one of the leading causes in accidents. Therefore, you have to know where yours are located in your vehicles. For most cars, the blind spots exist on either side towards the rear of the vehicles. Most blinds spots are worse on the right side, being that it is one opposite the driver. Therefore, you should always check over your shoulder before merging or switching lanes. In addition, defensive driving requires you to be aware of other’s blind spots as well. By staying out of their blind spots, you reduce your chances of being in an accident.
Defensive driving is all about anticipating the moves of other drivers. When you anticipate their moves, you can help prevent yourself from being in harms way. So, pay attention to the roadway, prepare for potential danger, and keep your eyes on the road. An accident can happen in any instant, do what you can to prevent them on your end.