The number one safety problem in American transportation is motor vehicle crashes. These crashes account for 94% of transportation deaths and 99% of transportation injuries.
One of the contributing human factors to these accidents is the lack of sufficient skills for safe driving. Most drivers view driving as a needed activity for commuting rather than a skill that needs to be polished.
Improving your car skills and learning a few tricks here and there will help you prevent accidents. Lots of damages are caused every year on the road due to easily avoidable circumstances. These damages can lead to high insurance rates even if the crash doesn’t result in any injuries.
Despite all of these consequences, most drivers remain complacent to learn driving tricks for safe driving. This article will dive into a few of these car tricks that you may want to know for your safety and others.
Driving tricks and techniques for safe driving
- Look for the best seating position and use the seat belt.
The first step to safe driving is to ensure good ergonomics for your sitting posture. The car trick here is to find an optimal position for your comfort. Begin by adjusting the seat while reaching for the pedals. You need to have enough space for your legs so that they don’t cramp. Moreover, you will need to have enough distance to depress the clutch pedal to its limit without straining your legs. Make sure your seat is adjusted well so you can see the road clearly while being comfortable at the same time. You will also need to have a little bending of the elbows to help your hands rest well for long periods of driving. Never forget to use the seat belt. Using a seat belt not only protects you in case of an accident but also prevents you from getting fined.
2. Adjust the mirrors
Adjust the Internal Rear-View Mirror and the Outside Rear-View Mirror to an optimal position. You need to adjust the mirrors for optimal visibility of what is behind your vehicle. It is crucial to have a clear view of the activities behind you to watch your own back. The best trick for adjusting the Outside Rear-View Mirror is to make sure your tail is visible on the side of the mirror.
3. Carry all the documents
You should always carry these three documents whenever you drive; your driver’s license, your vehicle registration document, and proof of insurance. You may be required to show them if you get pulled over or during an accident. On top of that, the vehicle registration proves that your car can be legally driven on the road. A vehicle that is not registered should not be driven on the road. Lastly, driving without your proof of insurance may land you in jail since it is illegal in most states. Luckily, the digital age has made carrying these documents easier; you can use smartphone applications to store all needed data. All you would need is your phone on you at all times.
4. Check the surroundings while reverse parking your car.
Safe drivers reverse park by pulling the handbrake, getting out of the car to check the surroundings, and then returning into the car to park it. Following this procedure will help you mentally calculating the needed space for parking.
5. Check and reduce your blind spots.
Blind spots have led to lots of accidents. Many drivers will change lanes on the assumption that the lane next to them is empty when in fact, it isn’t. A collision will happen since there is another vehicle close to where the driver changed lanes. A blind spot is usually a spot where a car pulling alongside your car is not visible in your side mirror or your rear-view mirror and has not yet reached close by to be seen through your peripheral vision. The best car tricks to avoid blind spots are adjusting the mirrors, knowing your blind spots, and waiting for a given time frame before changing lanes. You should keep in mind the blind spots of other drivers and never forget motorcycles on the road; they can be deadly affected by the blind spots.
6. Avoid over-speeding and distractions.
Pay attention to the speed limits. It may be fun to speed as fast as you want and impress yourself with how fast and furious you can get, but do not forget that a lot of accidents are due to over-speeding. It can land you in jail or get you fined. The main concern for over-speeding, though, is the danger it poses to you and other road users. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) showcases how speeding is the number one factor in more than 25% of fatal accidents each year. Speeding is a choice made out of negligence that will sooner or later result in several preventable deaths. Distractions on the road can catch any driver by surprise. Safe drivers should be able to handle their vehicles well when observing the outside environment. Pull out of the main road if you must see something.
7. Avoid road rage
Every driver has been engulfed with road rage at one point or another. It is straightforward to get offended by other drivers, especially in a traffic jam. You must remember to keep calm and stay level-headed when you find yourself confronting another driver on certain occasions, especially during an accident. Road rage has led to murder cases and hospitalizations; therefore, it is prudent to be careful, stay calm, and be patient to avoid dangerous confrontations and conflicts.
8. Watch out and pay attention to other drivers on the road.
Keeping a sufficient amount of distance between you and the other drivers is critical. This distance is essential in case you have to maneuver quickly to prevent an accident. The drivers behind you should also keep this distance just in case they have to avoid potential accidents.
9. Take precautions for different weather conditions.
Driving in sunny conditions is not the same as driving in rainy, snowy, or foggy conditions. Safe driving entails the mastery of different car tricks for other weather conditions. Take extra precautions when the weather is not favorable. For example, the best car tricks for rainy conditions include; changing speed gradually, increasing your following distance, keeping your lights on, and keeping the radio on a lower volume.
9. Use a dashcam
Good inclusion to the revolutionary vehicle technologies is the dashcam. A dashcam can improve the driver’s safety. It protects the driver from false claims and increases accountability. Dashcams make life easier for drivers since they can remotely download the footage from an incident to help them figure out the truth of what might have happened.
Frequently asked questions
- How long will it take for me to become a good driver?
There is no definitive timeline set for beginners to become pro drivers. It may take a few weeks for some to become good drivers and maybe months for others. The best way to know if you are good at driving is to have a checklist of the driving skills you need.
2. Why should a driver be extra cautious with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians?
The reason why it is crucial to be extra careful with this demographic is the fact that they are difficult to spot in traffic. Motorcyclists and pedestrians are easily overlooked since they are a small percentage of the people on the road.
3. Where does the law definitively require you to stop?
There are three scenarios that the law definitively requires you to stop. Failure to stop may get you fined or land you in jail. These scenarios include;
- At a stop sign
- When ordered by the police
- When the traffic lights change to red
4. How can I ensure my vehicle is always road-worthy?
The best way to ensure your vehicle’s roadworthiness is to ensure the wheels, lights, steering wheel, brakes, and mirrors are in good working condition. Moreover, do not forget to maintain your car with frequent visits to the mechanic regularly.
5. Is driving school necessary?
As much as a friend or parent can teach you how to drive for free, the training you will get won’t compare to what a professional instructor gives. Driving schools will teach you essential car tricks and safe driving tips that your parents may not know. On top of that, taking driving lessons in a driving school helps you be more confident behind the wheel.
These car tricks and driving tips are just a few of the many you can learn to help you drive safely. Driving is a continuous process that keeps changing with time and technology. It is prudent to polish those driving skills to be one step ahead of the driving challenges we face.