Whether you are new to driving or have been on the road for a while, there is always room for improvement. Having strong driving skills is important for the safety of you, your passengers, and others on the road.
Developing and honing your driving skills takes time, but it is well worth the effort. As you work on improving your skills, keep these tips in mind:
Focus and concentration
When you’re learning to drive, focusing and concentration are critical skills that will help you stay safe on the road. These skills will also help you get the most out of your lessons and make driving less stressful.
Experts define focus as the ability to concentrate one’s interest or activity on a specific thing or person. In other words, if you’re in a classroom, you might concentrate on your professor and not be distracted by social media or other activities.
Concentration on a particular subject or activity is more difficult to do, especially if there are multiple things going on around you. For example, if you’re in class, it may be hard to focus on your professor while there are two people arguing near you, but it’s possible to do so.
You can improve your focus and concentration by taking steps to eliminate distractions from your environment. For instance, removing your smartphone from the room can be helpful for staying focused, as will minimizing noise.
Another way to boost focus is to work in small blocks of time, with breaks in between. Research suggests that our attention wanes after a certain period of time, so working in short periods can be helpful for boosting focus.
Getting plenty of sleep can also be helpful for improving your focus. Studies have shown that 7-8 hours of sleep can increase your concentration. Additionally, exercising can improve your focus by boosting your mental stamina and decreasing fatigue.
Distractions are things that take your attention away from the task of driving, which increases your risk of a crash. They can come from inside or outside your vehicle, and are the leading cause of traffic accidents in America.
Cell phones and texting are the most common driving distractions. In fact, they are so prevalent that many states have enacted laws against them.
Another distraction comes from adjusting the temperature of your car or fiddling with your radio, satellite system or entertainment options. It may not seem like a big deal, but it takes your attention away from the road and can cause you to miss important information or cues.
Eating and drinking can also be distracting, as can talking to passengers or pets in your car. It’s important to keep food and drinks out of your vehicle.
A third type of distraction involves grooming and dressing, as it can be difficult to concentrate on the road when you’re trying to dress and put your hair up or brush your teeth. It’s best to do these tasks at home before you start your drive.
Getting a full night’s sleep before driving is also crucial to your safety. Drivers who are drowsy or tired are more likely to be distracted. Pulling over or taking a short nap before heading out on the road can help you stay focused and avoid distractions.
Listen to your instructor
During your first driving lesson, it’s important to listen to what your instructor is saying. This will help you to improve your driving skills and pass the driving test.
It is also important to stay calm during your lessons, even if you are feeling nervous or unprepared. This is because your instructor’s job is to take you out on the road and teach you all the necessary skills to become a good driver.
A good driving instructor will take on board any concerns you might have and try to help you overcome them. They will also be responsible for your safety and the well-being of other road users, so they need to be able to remain calm and supportive of you when things go wrong.
They will also need to be able to give you constructive feedback, and they should never try to yell at you or tell you what to do. This is not the type of behaviour you want from your instructor and can be detrimental to your learning.
If you find that your instructor is constantly interrupting your learning, it’s time to talk to them about this. It is up to you to decide whether you’re comfortable with this or not, but it’s worth letting them know if you feel uncomfortable.
If you are unable to listen to your instructor, you may need to consider changing instructors. It is best to find someone who can work with you and your needs, but this might not be possible in all cases.
Stay calm on the road
Traffic rage is a common issue that can be frustrating, but staying calm on the road can help prevent injuries and damage to your vehicle. Getting angry or upset while driving can lead to health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease, so it’s important to know how to control your emotions while behind the wheel.
One way to keep calm is to focus on the positives of your trip. This can help you avoid road rage and make your journey more enjoyable.
Another good stress management tip is to take a few deep breaths when you feel your heart rate rising. This helps increase oxygen supply to your brain and refreshes the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you stay calm.
Counting to five in between each breath will also help you relax and calm down. Breathing affects your heart rate so you should try and do it regularly to keep yourself calm on the road.
If you’re feeling angry at someone else on the road, resist the urge to yell or curse. This can escalate the situation and cause other drivers to become aggressive or even dangerous.
Keeping your cool is an important skill to learn for any driver, especially new or inexperienced ones. This can be easier said than done, but it’s worth doing if you want to drive safely and stay out of harm’s way.
Prepare for different weather conditions
Weather conditions vary a lot from day to day, so it’s important to adapt your driving skills accordingly. You may need to be more vigilant or more careful in some situations than others, so it’s a good idea to learn some techniques that will work for every kind of bad weather.
Rain is one of the most common weather conditions that drivers face on a daily basis, but it’s also one of the most dangerous. This is because wet road surfaces tend to be slick and visibility is limited.
Fortunately, there are many tips for safe driving in the rain. The most important of these is to reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the car in front of you.
Another crucial safety tip is to use your fog lights instead of your headlights during foggy weather. This is because fog causes the light from your headlights to reflect back, making it harder for you to see.
It’s also a good idea to keep extra distance between you and the car in front of your vehicle during fog. This will help you avoid hydroplaning or crashing into another vehicle.
Similarly, driving in snow can be dangerous. Aside from lowering your visibility, snow can also cause cars to have trouble functioning properly. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have a bundle of cold-weather gear in your vehicle, including extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, glass scrapers, blankets, medications, and more.
Practice makes perfect
There are many skills that you need to master when driving, and practicing them will help you get better at them. Some of these include parallel parking, making turns and avoiding distractions.
These are all essential to being a safe driver and will help you avoid accidents. However, you must practice these skills often before you can feel comfortable using them on the road.
First, practice on empty parking lots to learn how to stop and accelerate smoothly. This will improve your reaction time and allow you to make quick stops without jerking the car or swerving.
Next, practice on highways to learn how to merge into and exit from a service lane without causing an accident. This will also help you avoid traffic jams on busy roads.
Once you’ve mastered these, practice turning around at traffic lights and 4-way stops. These are important skills to master, especially when you’re learning to drive alone.
The best way to practice these skills is by setting aside a regular routine and practicing them regularly. This will help you feel more confident when it comes to driving and will also give you the best chance of passing your test.
A final tip is to practise these skills with a close friend or family member who can watch over you. This will help you feel more confident and will also ensure that you don’t forget the techniques that you’ve learnt.