Who doesn’t like the freedom of the open road? Although driving is sometimes closely linked to rage and irritability, it has the ability to restore a feeling of freedom, especially when the road is long, traffic-free, and the scenery is pleasant. But, as with most daily activities, driving can become automated and this is how bad habits develop. The good news, having a bad habit does not make you a bad driver. Habits can be broken- especially bad ones. If you are brave enough to admit that you are guilty of one or more bad driving habits, and you are willing to take the steps to break them, keep reading.
Often We May Not Realise a Bad Habit, Especially When We've Been Doing it for a While.
Generally defined, an unsavoury driving habit is an unsafe practice.
Are you too heavy on the gas pedal? Does your driving style increase your fuel consumption? Or does it place strain on your vehicle's parts, an action which may increase your overall maintenance costs? A study conducted by Leger Research found that significant road contraventions were attributed as follows:
- Intoxication (89%)
- Being distracted (54%)
- Fatigue (42%)
However, the most common bad habit is disobeying the laws of driving, such as exceeding the speed limit or not adhering to road signs. Recently, there is an exponential increase in accidents as a result of cell phone use while driving. Let's focus on changing those bad habits to good ones.
Good drivers generally win on their insurance payments, as Forbes pointed out in an article they wrote.
Five Simple Ways to Become a Driver With Good Habits
Testing your ability to multi-task should not be done while driving. Driving requires all your attention. Try to eliminate everything that could create a possible distraction such as eating, drinking or even talking to your passengers.
We cannot deny our dependency on cell phones, but luckily, we can rely on hands-free devices to reduce the level of distraction that our devices can cause.
Become a Defensive Driver
What Is Defensive Driving? Defensive driving is aimed at reducing accidents. It encourages drivers to anticipate situations that may require quick action on their part and remain calm and in control despite adverse conditions and other road users' mistakes.
Three simple tips to follow as a defensive driver:
- Be aware - remain focused on the road ahead.
- Be adaptable and learn to predict sudden changes in conditions.
- Anticipate the reaction of other changes.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
If you're unsure how to determine a comfortable and safe following distance, use a car-span space as a reference or two to a three-second gap between your vehicle and the next.
If the car in front of you brakes suddenly, a safe following distance can mean the difference between avoiding a collision or being the victim of one.
Know the Rules and the Basics of Your Vehicle
Knowing and understanding the road rules is crucial, and the key to becoming a good driver. It’s equally vital to familiarise yourself with the basic knowledge of your vehicle and how it works. Warning lights indicate that something needs to be addressed. They’re not to be ignored.
Your knowledge of road rules and your car can help you avoid emergencies. Other things to be cognisant of which will further improve your driving are:
- Expected weather conditions for your trip.
- Understand the conditions of your insurance policy.
- Scheduled or upcoming roadwork or construction on roads you frequently travel.
- Traffic updates or reports.
Stay on the Right Side of the Road, and the Law
It may seem obvious, but follow the rules.
Speeding is one of the most violated road laws. It is also one of the most costly. Driving your car faster burns more gas. If you need the motivation to start driving slower, remember its impact on your pocket. Needless to mention the danger it poses on both you and other road users.
Good News for Good Drivers
There are insurance companies who offer competitive rates to conscientious drivers called the "good driver" discount.
A good driver discount can earn you lower car insurance rates. Another unknown perk of the ‘good driver’ discount that some insurance companies offer is the Accident Forgiveness benefit. This benefit may stop your insurance rate from increasing if you were the driver at fault during an accident. Why not find out from your insurance company if you qualify for this discount?
When you commit to being a good driver and developing safe driving habits, such as staying focused and following the rules of the road, you can reduce your risk of an accident. Remember that being a good driver benefits you and other road users, and if you're lucky, it could also benefit your pocket.