This is a guest post by Scott Distasio, an auto accident attorney in Tampa. Distasio’s career focus is on civil trial law for personal injury. To keep yourself in the loop, read more expert advice from @scottdistasio on Twitter.
When many people are given their driver’s license, they can see it as an end rather than a beginning. They reason that they’ve passed their driver’s test, so their learning is essentially over. However, one never stops learning when it comes to driving. There’s always so much knowledge to be gained. These are seven ways to sharpen your driving skills and stay safe.
1. Don’t Use Your Phone While Driving
Distracted driving is the cause of many accidents. Some think that it’s harmless to answer a text or talk on the phone while driving. However, the seconds of attention that are taken away with the road could be the difference between having an accident or not. Put your phone on silent and put it in the glove compartment so that you’re not distracted by it. Whatever messages or calls you might be receiving, they can wait. The moment someone gets hit or hits someone else due to paying attention to their phone is the moment they realize what they should’ve been focusing on.
2. Keep Your Distance
Following too close behind another vehicle means that you could quickly experience an accident via rear-ending. If someone is tailgating you, get over to another lane and let them pass. It can be aggravating to have someone riding your bumper, but part of being a safe driver means handling these situations thoughtfully. This can help to set a good example for other drivers on the road.
3. Use Your Mirrors More
Your mirrors shouldn’t be reserved for parking or changing lanes. There’s so much happening on the road, and you shouldn’t limit your sights to what’s occurring through your windshield. Take occasional glances into your rearview and side mirrors. You’ll be able to better anticipate potential issues and respond before a possible accident. Being a successful driver means keeping your mind in the present and future simultaneously.
4. Learn How to Handle Bad Weather
Cars have become better equipped at handling poor weather conditions thanks to features like all-wheel drive. However, it’s still the responsibility of the driver to know how to handle these tough conditions. You should know what to do in the event of a rainstorm or how to steer your way out of a skid. Rehearse these issues in empty parking lots and in your head so that if and when they do occur, you’ll be able to handle them.
5. Take Alternative Routes
When you take the same route to work or school every day, you can start to get into a rut where you don’t focus as much as you should. In order to keep your focus sharp, you should take different routes. Mixing things up a bit can help with your attention, not to mention give you the opportunity to avoid traffic jams. Going on trips to different cities can also help to teach you how to handle different driving scenarios.
6. Know When to Avoid Driving
Strong drivers are not prideful ones. If the roads are in bad condition and people are advised to stay home, they’ll heed that advice. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for the roads to clear. You’re much better off knowing that you’re in a safe environment than putting yourself and others at risk by driving in conditions that could be hazardous.
7. Pretend You’re Taking a Driver’s Exam!
Think back to why you were able to earn your driver’s license. You had studied the rules of the road and practiced safe driving. When you go out for solo drives, imagine your instructor is in the passenger seat. How can you ensure that you’ll be able to hold onto your license? It’s worth remembering that being able to drive is a privilege, not a right. Every time you start the ignition, you’re showing why you should be allowed to hold onto that piece of plastic that grants you that privilege.
One of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to be as good as a driver as possible. If you realize that your driving skills might be lacking, you should do all you can to remedy this. It also helps to be in contact with an personal injury attorney so that you have someone you can get in touch with should you be injured in an accident. We’re dedicated to providing our services and helping those in need.