Safe driving tips go a long way in keeping the roads and highways safe as well as reducing the incidence of accidents on the highway. When you buy a car, hitting the road should not be the first thing on your mind. Rather, you should ask yourself: “Am I confident enough to drive or do I need to improve my driving?”
If you already know how to drive and have a drivers license, that’s fine. However, if you are not confident enough to drive in a city like Lagos despite having a license, below are driving tips that will help you get better.
1. Practice With Different Cars
Are you fortunate to have access to different brands and models of cars? If this is the case, then consider it an advantage as it gives you the opportunity to drive better.
The more cars you are able to practice with as you strive to perfect your driving skills, the more versatile it makes you behind the wheels. One strong driving tip for you at this point is to focus on the experience of driving. Don’t get sucked into driving one specific car especially when you have other cars at your disposal.
2. Find Space to Practice
After you get your drivers license, you need to practice. You should be on the lookout for places where you can practice. You can do this in a quiet neighbourhood as well as districts that have an abundance of a long stretch of roads. GRA in Ikeja is a good example of such neighbourhoods. Such neighbourhoods also have plenty of corners to help you sharpen your turning skills. You can also practice driving on football fields that allow vehicles on the pitch.
3. Bond With the Car
Driving is not just about accelerating, turning the steering and applying the brakes. As you drive, you need to connect with the car on a very technical level. The goal here is to understand the behaviour of the car and how it responds to your control instructions. This covers its braking distance and how stable it stays when you accelerate at different speeds.
When you get to a point where you connect with the car beyond just driving it, it empowers you to drive almost any car.
4. Anticipate Difficult Situations
One characteristic of a good driver is his/her ability to respond to emergencies or difficult situations. There are several driving tips but this one dwells on your ability to imagine hypothetical scenarios that could possibly play out while you’re driving.
For a moment, imagine a situation where you have a flat tyre, getting chased by an unknown car or brake failure. The next thing is to ask yourself what you would do if you found yourself in such a situation. Afterwards, you should get in the car and what you would have done in such a case.
As you anticipate these situations and come up with how you would respond, remember to take notes of your weaknesses and find ways to conquer them.
5. Don’t Neglect the handbrake
The handbrake is an essential part of your car and it isn’t meant to be shown off alone. It remains the most impressive way to neutralise high-speed and can save your life in sticky situations involving a wet road. The handbrake can help you build your confidence behind the wheels.
6. Drive Without the ABS
Does your car have an Automatic Braking System (ABS)? If it does, you should disable it in order to practice an emergency stop. This one thing you should know how to do.
7. Double Check Your Side Mirrors
It’s quite easy to forget to adjust your side mirrors before you get into the car. The danger of this is that it creates a blind spot. The blind spot A blind spot is that part of the road that you are unable to see because the mirrors have not been correctly adjusted. If you have a blind spot while driving, you could easily miss a car moving in a lane that is adjacent to yours.
To eliminate blind spots, it’s important that you adjust your side-view mirrors accordingly. If you want to be sure that your mirrors are in the correct position, try driving past a vehicle beside you in reverse. As you do this, keep your eyes on the side-view mirror. The moment you can no longer see the car, it should be in your peripheral vision.
One more thing, while adjusting your side-view mirror, you should be in your normal sitting position because this is the position you will be in while looking at the mirror.
8. Master the Art of Reversing
There are several ways to drive backwards but the most ideal way to reverse is when you use the side-view mirrors. Practice this until you become extremely good at it.
9. Practice In-Turn Braking
Your emergency in-turn braking is a skill you need to perfect while picking up driving tips. You should, however, practice this on a wide empty space and not on the highway.
10. Test the Brake
The moment you start driving, cultivate the habit of testing your brakes. Finding out that your brakes are out of commission while you are in the middle of the road can prove fatal. Did you know that brake failure accounts for about 300,000 crashes per year?
Final Thoughts on Driving Tips
There’s nothing like being too careful when you are driving a car. Nothing should be taken for granted. Did you know that 37,133 people were killed in car crashes in 2017? According to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), a total of 128 persons died, while 2, 254 others were injured in 673 road crashes across the country in September 2018. This was revealed by the FRSC in its monthly Road Traffic Crash (RTC) Report. The report was signed by the Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi.
Stay vigilant while driving and before you get in the car. Double check to be sure everything is where it is supposed to be because even experienced drivers have room for improvement.