The Seven Habits of Really Good Drivers

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The Seven Habits of Really Good Drivers

By Candace Lightner

Actually, there are probably more than 7 but let’s focus on these:

  • Always travel within the speed limit and if the road conditions are hazardous, then go slower. I watch people speed by me during torrential rainfalls and say a quick prayer that they will arrive alive. I think there is research that shows those who speed might save at the most 5 minutes on their trip. Really?  Do we need to risk our lives and that of others for 5 minutes?
  • Ignore all the latest infotainment systems car manufacturers offer that can make driving distracted an ongoing temptation and real easy to do. We lived without them for more than a hundred years and did just fine, actually probably better when it came to surviving on the roads. That goes for your mobile devices too. Turn them off when you get in the car. Everyone knows how dangerous they are. Denial can be a dangerous thing.
  • Make sure your car is in tip top shape for travelling. There is nothing worse nor more dangerous than a breakdown on the road or a flat tire. I know people who were killed by a drunk driver while waiting for Triple A. Included in this tip is another. If there is a breakdown, get away from the car. It is much safer.
  • NEVER and I mean NEVER drive when you are impaired by alcohol or other drugs. Most people know when they have had too much to drink and if you don’t, then always have a “sober” designated driver or a taxi cab ready. Much easier and cheaper than paying fines, lawyers and increased insurance rates if you are caught. It is also safer then risking your life and someone else’s because you decided to drive when you knew you shouldn’t.
  • Do you take prescription meds, smoke pot? If so, then make sure your medication is not impairing in anyway before you drive. Marijuana is, no matter what the pot enthusiasts say (after all, people do not smoke to feel exactly the same as they did before they lit up or why bother?) so smoke at home, not in the car and find another ride.
  • Always wear a seat belt. Why wouldn’t you?  The research is overwhelming.  They save lives. Make sure that those riding in the car put theirs on too.  I will never start driving until everyone is buckled up and I will not ride in cars with those who do not use seatbelts.
  • Stay a safe distance behind the car in front of you no matter how many people cut in. The general rule is 2 seconds but others recommend 3 seconds. If you feel that gives you enough time to stop safely behind the car in case they stop suddenly then go for it, otherwise make it a few seconds more. The most important thing is that YOU DO NOT TAILGATE. You risk multiple car pileups among other dangerous scenarios so stay as far back as you can. Of course, if you are using your mobile device, it doesn’t matter how far you are behind that car, you are courting disaster.
  • Pull into a safe place if you are tired. Late night?  Not enough sleep?  Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk, drugged and distracted driving. The car is not your bedroom and you will be a much better driver if you keep them separate.

If you just focus on your driving, keep your hands on the wheel, keep your eyes on the road, and practice all these tips you are a “Good Driver” and have the right to criticize others who aren’t.  Because I care . . .

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