People learn how to drive at the tender age of seventeen and the vast majority will soon fall victim to bad habits and risky road behavior. Sadly, bad driving leads to thousands of annual road deaths worldwide and it is hard to fathom just why governments and driving authorities have not made advanced driving training compulsory or at least introduced some structure to retest experienced drivers. In most countries, cars are tested nearly on an annual basis to improve road safety, but drivers are not. Some insurance companies offer reductions to drivers who pass an advanced driving test and this innovative development must be applauded.
Graphic TV ads depicting the horrors of car crashes have contributed to a reduction in road deaths, however a lot remains to be done if societies want to eradicate this serious problem. Statistics have highlighted bad driver behavior or lack of skill as one of the major causes for accidents and if you would like to become a better driver, here are some ways of improving your driving:
- Staying Focused: It is by now a well-known fact that distracted drivers have crashes and it is not just mobile phones that steal a driver’s attention. Screaming kids in the backseat, misbehaving dogs or a lazy lack of attention displayed by the driver can lead to serious accidents. Accidents can occur through a split second’s lack of focus and working on this aspect of your driving is therefore essential. In driving school they teach you to make use of your mirrors, remain alert at all times, scan the road for possible hazards and to watch out for all road users around you at all times. Staying focused has to be one of the number one priorities for drivers and removing distractions to the greatest possible extent is vital.
- Adjusting Your Driving Style: Driving conditions must determine your driving style and you must adjust your speed and driving behavior to the condition of the road you are driving. Weather, road conditions, traffic levels, road type and day or night-time call for different driver behavior.
- Observe Other Road Users: Being alert and observing the behavior of other road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians will ensure that you are ready if any such road user takes an unexpected action. Excellent drivers are often caught up in accidents because of the reckless behavior of other road users and the least one can do is attempt to be aware and prepared.
- Expecting the Unexpected: All drivers drift off into a world of their own on prolonged drives and expect themselves as well as all the drivers around them to drive smoothly and behave well on the road. When driving, expect a cat running across the road right in front of you, a driver to turn without indicating or a cyclist to appear out of nowhere. Expect the unusual and forever remain alert.
- Stop Taking Dumb Risks: All drivers at times take reckless risks, overtake when it’s not quite 100% safe to do so, drive too closely to the car in front of them, run red lights and generally do things on the road that they know is not safe. Just don’t!
What They Teach You at Advanced Driving School
If you are serious about becoming a top driver, advanced driver training will be a valuable exercise. Professional drivers, the police force and similar professionals learn how to perfect their driving skills and here are some of the aspects that are covered:
- Heightening awareness and improving observation
- Correct positioning on the road
- Safe overtaking
- Effective braking
- Risk and hazard assessment
- Adjusting to weather and road conditions
- Correct driving on bends
Several more skills are covered and partaking in an advanced driving program is most certainly a worthwhile and maybe even life-saving exercise.
The shear desire to be a better driver will contribute to an improvement in your driver behavior and better your driving straight away. By caring about the quality of your driving and making a concerted effort to drive well, you are already on the way to becoming a better driver.
If driving is a real passion and you aim to become seriously proficient, enlist the advice of an expert driver or maybe even a racing driver like myself!