How to Be a Better Driver – Tips and Tricks

A great quality not a lot of people have is being able to notice their own mistakes and improve. So the fact that you’re reading this is a step in the right direction. If you feel like your driving could use some improvement, here’s how to be a better driver. These tips and tricks should help you drastically improve your driving skills.

What Makes a Bad Driver? 

If your friends scream and hold onto their seat belts a little too tightly every time they drive with you, and you’re not quite sure why, perhaps it’s because they’re scared for their lives. And you might be a little too stubborn to see that you’re not the best driver in the world, as many people are. Personally, if I notice you’re a reckless driver, I will never again sit in a car while you’re behind the steering wheel. So, here are some things you could be doing without even realizing it’s giving you a bad reputation as a driver and endangering yourself as well as other people in traffic

  • Riding the brakes,
  • Speeding,
  • Running red or amber lights,
  • Not using the proper light signalization,
  • Being unpredictable or confusing to other drivers.

How to Be a Better Driver – Some Basic Driving Tips You’re Supposed to Know Already

There are many steps you can take on how to become a better driver, no matter if you’re a beginner or you’ve been an active driver for years or even decades. These are all things you should know already since you learned them in driving school. The truth is you actually do know you should respect all these things, but for some reason, you choose to ignore them. So here is a list of reminders to help you improve your skills and avoid any potential danger or accidents.

Refrain Yourself From Speeding and Follow Speed Limits

Speed limits exist for a reason. Either it’s the optimal speed because of the nature and the build of the road, or it’s the safest speed for traveling through that area. You need to understand that speed limits are not random numbers road contractors put there to maliciously slow you down. They are carefully calculated by engineers based on the nature of the road and speed studies in order to keep you and other people safe. 

Speeding is the number one reason why car accidents with fatalities are so common. At high speeds, people lose the ability to control their cars as well as they could if they were driving slower. If you drive according to the rules and respect the speed limit, you will always have enough time to react and avoid any possible danger. At 60 miles per hour, not paying attention to the road for a second could be fatal since you wouldn’t be able to react, while at 30 miles per hour, you could still manage to potentially avoid a crash. And even if you couldn’t avoid it altogether, it would have less severe consequences since it was at a lower speed. 

Respecting speed limits keeps you and others safe

Don’t Let Anything Distract You From Paying Attention to the Road

The key to good driving is good concentration and paying attention to the road. Always be aware of your surroundings and limit your distractions. Everyone knows how bad it is to use your phone while you drive, but for some reason, we all choose to ignore it sometimes. We get our phone to answer an important text or change the song that just started playing to something we would like more. But even that second of time you’re not using to give your full attention to the road could lead to a car crash. 

So put your phone on the do not disturb mode, create a playlist specifically for driving, and leave your phone alone. But your phone isn’t the only distraction when driving. Playing loud music, lighting a cigarette, or even searching for something in the backseat could all distract you at the wrong moment. 

Avoid Tailgating and Sudden Braking

Impatience and rashness while driving are clear signs of a beginner driver. These bad traits resolve in sudden braking and tailgating, and it’s an obvious indicator of inexperience. Tailgating is a regular occurrence where a driver moves too close behind another vehicle, and it’s not only dangerous, but it can cause anxiety to the person in front. However, it’s less dangerous than sudden braking since it can lead to the person behind you crashing into you due to a lack of time for reacting. 

Give Yourself Extra Time, so You Don’t Feel the Need to Rush

The best piece of advice I can give you is to leave your house 15 minutes early, that way you will have a calm, comfortable drive and you won’t be late and pressured into hurrying. Being late leads to impatience and speeding, as well as aggressive and reckless driving. That’s a pretty bad combination for the road, and it leads to traffic accidents. By having more than enough time, you will be prepared for any scenario, such as traffic jams or roadblocks. 

Adjust Your Driving to the Weather Conditions

Good drivers know that you can’t drive in the same manner in different weather conditions. Rain, snow, and fog have an impact on your visibility levels, and it’s always recommended to drive way below the speed limit in those situations. Not to mention that roads can get extremely slippery, to the point where you have no control over your vehicle whatsoever. In those situations, the only thing that could make a difference is your speed. 

Snow on the road
Adjust your speed and driving to weather conditions on the road

Using the Proper Light Signalization Is Mandatory

A lot of people get into the bad habit of forgetting to use the proper light signals. It’s one of the most important rules in driving since it lets other people know what your intentions are, and that way, they can adjust accordingly. However, I would strongly advise you to drive without expecting even the bare minimum from other drivers. So expect the worst and try to think and plan ahead. That way, you are more likely to avoid any accidents. 

Know Your Vehicle and Treat It Well

While knowing how to replace U-joints or what is a clutch master cylinder isn’t vital for your driving skills, you can’t drive if you don’t know what an airbag is – having some basic knowledge about car parts is crucial. You have to get familiar with your car and treat it with the love and respect it deserves. With the high prices of vehicles these days, you want your car to stay in good condition for as long as possible, so take care of it. Be gentle with your car – being aggressive not only damages the car but it’s also a sign of an unsure driver. 

Learn How to Rely on Your Mirrors

One of the biggest issues beginners have is learning how to look in front of them, on the sides of them, and behind them all at the same time. It might sound impossible in theory, but once you get into the practice of looking into and relying on your side and rear view mirrors, you will be doing it without realizing it. You should always be aware of your surroundings. Start by fixing your mirrors into positions that suit you, force yourself to do these checks constantly, and they will become a force of habit very quickly.

A side mirror on a car
Get into the habit of using your car mirrors to check your surroundings

How to Become a Better Truck Driver in a Few Simple Steps?

While the tips I’ve listed above can be implemented in all driving situations, truck drivers might need a bit more advice and help in order to master the difficult and stressful job of driving a truck. So here are a few things you should consider before going on another road trip. 

Be Aware of Your Size and Weight and Drive Accordingly

As a truck driver, you have to understand that you’re not a regular participant in traffic. You are much stronger, heavier, and bigger than others, which means you can cause more damage to other people around you. In the event of a crash between a truck and a car or a motorcycle, truck drivers usually go scratch-free while people in smaller vehicles usually face some serious injuries and consequences. A simple bump-in for you could be fatal for someone in a used car. So you have to be extra mindful of your surroundings and always follow traffic rules.

Do Regular Pre-Trip Inspections

Truck drivers are required to do a detailed pre-trip inspection before they embark on any journey. You wouldn’t want a flat tire to jeopardize your trip. So do your inspection – check your summer or winter tires, make sure your windshield wipers are working properly in case it rains or snows, change your tail light if you need to, and so on. Make sure you’re going on the road in a safe vehicle.

Take a Break to Freshen Up Every Couple of Hours

Your attention span while driving could be two hours tops. After two hours, your concentration starts to fade slowly, and it’s a sign you should take a break to regain your energy. They don’t have to be long breaks – a 15 min coffee run at the nearest gas station will suffice. It’s just important to clear your head a bit and stretch your legs, so you can continue your trip recharged.

Keep Track of Your Time and Don’t Rush

As you’re well aware, truck drivers have a limited time frame, so in their case, time literally is money. So always plan your trip ahead, take a look at your directions on the GPS device, watch out for weather conditions or any possible roadblocks, and plan your time accordingly. Don’t spend hours on unnecessary breaks and then speed and go off-road just to make the shipment in time. 

How to Become a Better Race Car Driver? 

If you’re interested in race car driving, you know how dangerous and risky it is. That’s why you should listen to any advice you can get, especially if it’s coming from professionals. While I’m not exactly a World Champion Formula 1 driver, here are three tips everyone swears by:

  • Pull your steering wheel to gain more control,
  • Don’t do your maximum in the rain to avoid spinning out on slippery surfaces,
  • Never panic and start braking or steering during a tire blowout; keep moving straight until you can control your vehicle enough to get it to the pit stop. 

Practice Makes Perfect, so Drive as Often as You Possibly Can

No one was born with a driver’s license attached to them. Driving is a skill that takes a lot of time and effort to master. Anyone can learn basic driving laws, but experience and enough practice are what separates great drivers from the average ones. So practice every chance you get. Face your fears and practice – if you have a problem with driving at night, go for a 1 am joyride. And the most important thing to remember is that the best drivers are the respectful ones that follow laws and worry about the safety of others.