Some people tune out when they’re on the road. Highway hypnosis is real and dangerous! Stay alert behind the wheel and practice defensive driving to keep yourself safe. Remember these safe driving habits that new drivers should adopt the next time you get in your car. Practice these skills now, and they’ll become automatic to you as you gain experience.
Follow at a Distance
You may get annoyed by traffic, but that’s no reason to tailgate the driver in front of you. Give yourself at least a car length’s worth of space between you and the person ahead of you. This is a following distance of about three seconds. You should be able to see the wheels of that person’s car on the road. If you’re driving in inclement weather, increase your following distance to four or five seconds.
This may have been one of your first lessons in driving: aim high when steering. Don’t get caught up reading bumper stickers. Keeping your eyes focused on the road ahead also helps you see traffic signs and lights more readily.
Watch Your Speed
Be mindful of the speed limit at all times. Speeding tickets are an annoyance to your wallet, and if you keep racking them up, this can affect your auto insurance costs and cause them to skyrocket. Plus, speeding-related car accidents can be disastrous, if not deadly. Take note of the speed of the cars around you and adjust accordingly—and go easy on the gas pedal. Constant stop-and-start driving can affect your car’s mileage.
Put the Phone Down
Modern cars come with all kinds of bells and whistles to help you drive without touching your phone. Put on your favorite playlist or cue up your driving directions before hitting the road. Keep your hands off the phone and on the steering wheel. Distracted-driving accidents can be just as catastrophic as drunk-driving wrecks.
When you calculate your driving time, always factor in traffic. Get on the road earlier than you think you need to. If you cut it too close and wind up in heavy traffic, your annoyance can cause you to drive more aggressively. Avoid road rage by leaving a cushion of time for yourself.
As you gain valuable driving experience, practice calm and collected driving habits. Prioritize the safety of you and your passengers! These safe driving tips that new drivers should adopt will become second nature if you follow them diligently.