Driving a car is a complicated activity that involves following a number of rules. It also requires drivers to be aware of their surroundings and react accordingly.
Whether you are new to driving or an experienced driver, there are some simple steps that can make your trip safer. Read on to learn more!
Getting familiar with your car
Getting familiar with your car can make a big difference in the safety of your journey. Whether you’re looking to buy a new car or are planning to take the driving test, it’s always helpful to know what features your vehicle has and how they work.
For example, most vehicles have a dashboard that contains buttons and symbols. These allow you to control features like the air conditioning or wipers. But before you can use these, you must understand how to turn on and off the feature and how to read the symbols.
Another vital car driving tip for beginners is to understand how to handle the steering wheel and brakes. Once you get the hang of these, it will be easier to control your car.
You should also learn how to change the gears and engage reverse. This will help you keep the car safe and avoid accidents.
Finally, you should make sure that you don’t get distracted during your drive. A bad mood or stressful event can cause you to stray from the road and make mistakes.
To help you avoid these errors, you should stay on familiar roads as much as possible. This will help you familiarize yourself with the traffic and avoid making mistakes that could cost you your life.
Knowing your vehicle’s layout
Knowing your vehicle’s layout can help you stay in control of your car and reduce your risk of a collision. This includes understanding the placement of important parts of your vehicle’s engine and other components.
For example, a front engine, front wheel drive layout features an engine and front wheels at the front of the vehicle. This type of automobile layout is common in family cars, compact cars, and minivans.
However, there are other types of layouts. One of the earliest layouts in automotive design was the front engine, rear wheel drive layout.
This layout distributes weight more evenly by placing the engine at the front of the vehicle and driving the wheels through a driveshaft and differential. This layout is favored by race drivers and teams because it provides improved acceleration.
In general, a front engine, front wheel drive car will have more interior space than a rear engine, rear wheel drive layout. It also tends to be more economical to produce because the engine, transmission and other drive components are centralized in one area.
Knowing your vehicle’s layout isn’t just fun; it can also save you time and money by helping you navigate the road more efficiently. In addition, you’ll be better prepared to react to changing conditions as soon as they arise. For example, if there are a lot of cars in your lane and you’re about to make a right turn, know how far the driver in front of you is going to move before you take the turn.
Observing other vehicles
If you want to avoid collisions while driving, be aware of what is going on around you. This includes observing other vehicles, their features and their speed.
Observing other vehicles is crucial because it helps you determine if they are safe to drive near. It also lets you know if there are any dangerous road users nearby.
One way to observe other vehicles is to watch their rears and sides. This will let you see how fast they are moving and if they are changing lanes without looking. This will give you time to react and avoid a crash.
You can also look into the rear windows of parked cars to see what is inside them. This will help you see if the brake lights are working or not. It will also let you see the feet of any pedestrians who are in front of the vehicle.
It is also a good idea to take a quick glance at intersections before you enter them. This will let you see if there are any vehicles or pedestrians in the crosswalk, which will help you avoid a crash.
A study conducted by Sagberg et al (2019) found that hand-held mobile phone use is the most common distraction for car drivers on a motorway. This was followed by conversing with passengers and eating or drinking. They also found that drivers with passengers were less likely to engage in these activities than drivers who drove alone.
Avoiding blind spots
When you drive a car, you must be aware of the blind spots around your vehicle. These areas are a source of many accidents on the road.
One of the best ways to avoid a blind spot while driving is to look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning. It is important to do this quickly, and you should only take your eyes off the road for a few seconds at a time.
The most common type of blind spot is the side of a vehicle that you cannot see through your rear and side mirrors. This area is where most drivers will end up in a crash or other accident.
Getting familiar with your own car’s blind spots is the most effective way to reduce your risk of a collision. It can help you make informed decisions about how to position your car, and it may also prevent you from making a hasty move that puts you in an accident.
Aside from your own vehicle, other vehicles and trucks have blind spots that can put you at risk of a crash. These include areas where doors and door frames are situated, as well as small spots on the sides of the front and back of a truck. Understanding these spots and being able to point them out to other drivers is crucial for preventing blind-spot accidents.
Keeping your hands on the steering wheel
Keeping your hands on the steering wheel while driving is essential for reducing the risk of accidents. This will allow you to react quickly in case of a skid or other unexpected situation.
Traditionally, drivers were taught to position their hands at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions on the steering wheel. While this technique is still used by many drivers, it is no longer considered safe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to Thompson Sales, this hand position can put your hands in the way of airbags if they deploy during an accident. This can cause serious injuries such as finger amputation and “degloving,” which is when the skin is torn off from the airbag’s deployment.
Instead, drivers are recommended to keep their hands on the steering wheel at 9 and 3. This hand position is safe for modern-day vehicles equipped with airbags and will reduce your risk of amputation or injury.
Drivers can also use a technique called push-and-pull to steer their vehicle. This technique is ideal for turning at low speeds in areas with limited visibility, parking, and recovering from a skid.
The push-and-pull technique involves pushing the steering wheel with one hand and pulling it with the other. This technique is especially helpful in cars with larger steering wheels and in those without power steering. It can also be useful if you need to access another operating control, such as your gearshift.
Distractions can come in many forms, but they all divert a driver’s attention from the task of driving safely. Fortunately, most distractions are avoidable and can be prevented with some simple precautions.
Keeping your eyes on the road is the most obvious and important way to reduce the risk of a collision. About 7% of all accidents involve drivers who look outside their vehicles or “rubberneck” at roadside events.
Cell phones and texting are the most common types of distracted driving, but other activities may also divert your attention from the road. Other examples include adjusting your radio, eating and drinking, grooming, reading and talking with passengers.
Another significant risk is fiddling with car parts such as mirrors, seats or built-in navigation systems. This may seem like a harmless activity, but it can divert your focus longer than you think and is a common cause of fatal car crashes.
Crash avoidance technology, which uses alerts to alert drivers when they might be distracted, is one promising technique for reducing distraction-related crash risks.
Teens, who are at the highest risk of becoming distracted drivers, can help reduce their own risk by avoiding texting while driving. They can also sign pledges to never drive distracted and become involved with local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapters. They can share their stories and statistics with friends and family, and they can make sure to speak up when they see a friend who is engaging in distracting behaviors while behind the wheel.