Ever thought about everything that goes into someone effectively driving? It's more than just getting in a vehicle and stepping on the gas. Good driving involves learning many skills and always improving them. These abilities are important, no matter your experience with driving. So, Highway Hero Driving Academy wants you look at these critical skills every safe driver needs to know.
Keeping the Right Space Between Cars
Picture being too close behind a car when suddenly, it stops. Would you have enough time to hit the brakes and avoid a crash? No! This is why keeping the right distance between cars matters a lot. Normally, you should be about three to five seconds behind the car ahead. But when the weather is bad or the traffic is heavy, it's better to leave more seconds.
Following too closely, called tailgating, is a bad idea. In case of an unexpected situation, you may not have enough reaction time. So, keeping the right distance ensures you have time to stop safely if needed, and greatly lessens the chance of a crash.
Looking Ahead for Things in Your Path
Another crucial skill for driving safely is staying alert and aware of what’s happening ahead of you. It's like having a sixth sense, giving you the ability to anticipate and avoid any potential accidents. NHTSA noted that in 2019, distracted driving led to a 9.9% increase in deaths, totaling 3,142. So, here’s what to do:
Keep a forward scanning distance: Aim to look 12-15 seconds ahead in city driving, and at least 20-30 seconds ahead on highways.
Scan left to right and top to bottom: Regularly scan the entire roadway, including your mirrors and blind spots, for early detection of potential hazards.
Stay focused: Minimize multitasking, and avoid distractions such as your phone, radio, or passengers.
Train your peripheral vision: Try to improve your ability to detect movement or changes in your surroundings without moving your eyes from the road.
Changing Traffic Lights
Traffic lights. They change, right? When you spot the light turning yellow, get prepared to stop because it's about to turn red. Don't rush to beat the light because it's dangerous and could result in a ticket. Safe drivers stay alert and adapt to changing road conditions.
Say No to Distracted Driving
Have you ever tried checking your phone or eating while driving? Well, the fact is doing anything else while driving is risky and is a primary reason for many accidents. Any task that takes your attention away from the road can drastically decrease your ability to react in time. How should you handle incoming calls or messages while driving? Find a safe spot to park and then go for it.
And remember, don't try to do many things at once while driving. Prioritizing safety helps prevent accidents for you and others.
Now you know that mastering such skills can make you safer on the road, both for yourself and everyone else. Always keep a safe distance, look ahead, and avoid distractions. The key takeaway: prioritize safety at all times. What are some important driving skills that you can think of that contribute to safe and responsible driving?