7 Tips to Help You Be a Better (and Safer) Driver ...

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Do you think you're a great driver? However long we've been driving, we could all benefit from improving our skills on the road and paying attention to being a safe driver. Because of the risks involved, it's vital to drive as safely as possible. Here are some tips to help you be a better and safer driver

1. Keep Your Cool

Always keep your cool when you're driving, no matter how much you feel provoked by other people. Remember that it's not about being 'right' on the roads, but about being safe. So don't let it get to you if someone cuts in front of you; always be alert and try to anticipate any manoeuvres that other drivers may make.

2. Tired?

Avoid driving when you're tired; if you're weary, your attention may easily wander. Make sure that you've had enough sleep, and take breaks or share the driving on long trips. You should also be cautious of driving if you're on certain prescription drugs - and never be tempted to drive if you've been drinking or taken other substances.

3. Advanced Course

Once you've got some driving experience, consider doing an advanced course. This will teach you enhanced skills and allow you to be more confident in dealing with challenging driving situations. Holding an advanced certificate can also mean that you get reduced insurance premiums, so that's another reason to get one!

4. Distractions

Many accidents are caused by drivers getting distracted, so always stay focussed. Be aware of what's going on around you that might affect you, but don't get distracted by irrelevant things. So keep an eye on a child that might dash out, but don't look at your phone, stare at billboards or eye up handsome guys.

5. Practice

If you're a novice driver, try to avoid challenging situations like driving in poor weather until you've got a bit more experience behind you. But if you're going to have to face something that you're not confident about, like driving alone in city traffic, try to get some practice with an experienced friend who can supervise you. Practice parking until you're confident.

6. Lessons

You can also book lessons once you've got your licence - it's not just for learners! For example, it would be helpful to book a lesson so that you can get some practice driving on freeways (I did that after passing my test and found it gave me the confidence to use freeways alone). If you've not had any practice driving at night, you may also find a night lesson helpful.

7. Don't Be Complacent

We can easily kid ourselves that we're better drivers than we really are - everyone wants to think that they're a great driver! Never be complacent; being over-confident can lead us to make mistakes. We can all benefit from paying attention to our driving and working out where we can improve. It doesn't matter how long you've been driving; in fact, older drivers can be less careful than newer drivers who are more aware of what they've just learned.

Good and careful driving is so important, and you should never be complacent - not even on the shortest journey. Be aware and alert, and concentrate on staying safe. You're also responsible for how your driving affects other people, so keep them safe as well. Who is the worst driver that you've ever known?