Whether you have been driving for a few years or have decades of experience under your belt, there are always steps you can take to improve your skills. Never think a perfect driving record makes you immune to accidents.
Stay sharp and always be aware of the latest safety measures. Here are five simple things you can do to become a safer driver:
1. Switch from 10 and 2 to 8 and 4
From the time we were teens, we were told to keep our hands on the steering wheel at the 10- and 2-o’clock positions. As Lifehacker notes, these guidelines have now changed to 8 and 4. This lower position gives you more control of the wheel when driving, and it’s a much more comfortable and natural position, which means your muscles will stay more relaxed during long road trips. Loose muscles will react better than tight and sore ones, so update your steering wheel mindset and keep those hands lower.
2. Reduce Glare
After a long day at work, wading home during rush hour can be bad enough. Add in a sunset-induced glare on your windshield, and your drive home is now extra dangerous. On the days when your car’s visor isn’t enough to block out the bright rays of a setting sun, keep a pair of high quality sunglasses within reach. To reduce glare as much as possible, choose lenses that include a Plasma Purple MirrorShield coating. You can also replace your existing lenses with 100 percent polarized lenses, which will not only reduce glare but also enhance the contrast of what is ahead of you on the road.
3. Focus Further Ahead
When we are driving, many of us keep our eyes fixated on the bumper of the car in front of us. Actually, the safer approach is to focus about five cars ahead of you; this way, you have a better idea about what is coming up on the road, and it will buy you more reaction time to slow down before the guy in front of you applies his brakes.
4. Push Play before Driving
If you love listening to tunes when you drive, be sure your favorite songs are queued up and hit “play” before you back out of the driveway. Even a quick glance to change playlists could lead to tragedy if you take your eyes off the road.
5. Make Sure Kids are Safely Occupied
If you drive with kids, it can be tempting to do a quick grab on the floor behind you to fetch a wayward sippy cup or toy. Become a better and safer driver by keeping a basket filled with car-friendly toys and books within arms’ reach of your kids. And if your children’s car seats come with cup holders, teach them at an early age to put their juice cups there when not in use. Give your kids a pre-drive reminder that it is not safe for you to help them pick up items while you are driving, so make it clear that if they drop anything, they will have to wait until you get to your destination to get it back.
This article is from Alison Stanton. She has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years and enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.