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Things to focus on to become a better driver

Better Driver

There are many reasons to continually improve your driving skills; improved safety, confidence and efficiency are some of the most common reasons you should constantly strive to be a better driver, even if you’ve been driving for a long time.

Take a look at our 10 areas to focus your attention to become a better driver, so that you (and your fellow road users) can safely get to where you need to go. 

Our top tips to improve your driving

1. Increase your situational awareness

The best thing you can do to become a better driver is to improve your situational awareness. Instead of simply watching the car in front of you and mindlessly driving while focusing on the radio or the conversation you’re having with a passenger, actively look out and notice everything that is going on around you.

People often get into accidents because they notice something too late by staying hypervigilant at all times and constantly looking ahead, you can anticipate changes on the road before they reach you and avoid unnecessary accidents. 

2. Practice night driving skills 

Driving at night time poses different challenges than in the day. Often there is less traffic to worry about, but decreased visibility, blinding headlights and wildlife to deal with on the roads. 

There are several fantastic night driving guides, like Ezlicence’s night driving tips that are at your disposal to learn effective techniques so that you can gain confidence and skills as a night-time driver.

3. Maintain a safe gap from the vehicles ahead of you

It is recommended that you keep a 3-second gap between your car and the cars in front at the very least to avoid accidents and allow for reaction time. 

This distance provides a buffer in case of sudden stops or emergencies, allowing you enough time to react and brake safely. This minimises the risk of collisions, especially in situations where unexpected changes in traffic occur. 

The three-second rule considers factors like weather conditions, road surfaces, and speed to ensure a proportional distance that changes with varying driving conditions so that there is a more predictable driving environment for everyone on the road.

4. Constantly scan the road

Continual scanning allows for early detection of road signs, and changes in traffic patterns – allowing you to make timely decisions and adjustments to your speed and position on the road. 

Scanning helps maintain focus and reduces the likelihood of distractions allowing drivers to stay engaged and ready to respond swiftly to any unforeseen circumstances, ultimately contributing to increased situational awareness. 

5. Correctly position your mirrors

Before hitting the road, adjusting your mirrors is crucial for optimising your field of vision. 

Starting with the rearview mirror, sit upright in the driver’s seat to ensure a clear view of everything behind you. Then, positioning yourself in a way where you lean towards the centre console, fine-tune the passenger-side mirror to barely capture the edge of your vehicle. Repeat this process for the driver’s side mirror, aligning it to barely include the vehicle’s edge while placing your cheek against the window. 

This adjustment strategy helps eliminate unnecessary overlap between the side mirrors and the rearview, expanding your field of vision and minimising blind spots. 

By maximising the mirror’s angle, you not only avoid getting blinded by headlights or reflections but also gain a wider and more comprehensive view of your surroundings.

6. Stay calm 

Don’t let road rage get the better of you. Yes, people make mistakes on the road; they hog lanes, pull out in front of you and sometimes put you in danger – but getting yourself worked up about won’t help. 

Aggressive drivers often claim that everyone else on the road is in the wrong, but oftentimes someone who is constantly getting aggressive while driving tends to drive recklessly. Take deep breaths, let it go and focus on what’s in front of you. 

7. Drive smoothly and avoid jerky manoeuvres 

Driving smoothly and avoiding abrupt manoeuvres is key for road safety. Smooth driving minimises the risk of accidents by maintaining better control of the vehicle and reducing sudden changes in speed or direction that can catch other drivers off guard. 

Jerky movements, such as sudden braking or aggressive acceleration, not only increase the likelihood of collisions but also contribute to wear and tear on the vehicle’s components, affecting its longevity in areas such as tire wear

Additionally, smooth driving makes your passengers feel more comfortable, reducing motion sickness and creating a more pleasant travel experience for everyone in the vehicle.