Tips for Driving Safe and Smart

It is usually a very frustrating experience for people who love driving to have to deal with the unsafe, clueless, and distracted drivers that fill the streets, expressways, and highways in America. They are everywhere–oblivious drifters, cell phone talkers, passing lane squatters, tailgaters–and they sort of make you curious about why a driver’s license is offered as a right instead of being a well-earned privilege. More often than not, the best way to deal with drivers who are incompetent on the road is to improve your safe and smart driving skills. This article will discuss the top ten tips–from simple highway etiquette to safety-minded maneuvers–that all safe and smart drivers ought to know. You will find this article very helpful in navigating the streets more safely and smartly and avoiding hazardous encounters with inexperienced drivers.

Avoid Tailgating

Hear some simple math. Let’s say you were traveling at 60 miles per hour (which is about 88 feet per second), and you are maneuvering about 2 vehicle-lengths behind the car in front, and modern midsize automobiles lengths average at approximately 31 feet (or about 190 inches). All of a sudden, the driver in front of you reacts to a hazard. In such a situation, assuming that you are not fiddling with your mobile phone and are focused directly on what’s happening on the road, you will probably respond to the driver’s brake lights in about 0.5 seconds. Although this is not lousy response time, it is not the most efficient. As a rule of thumb, safe and smart driving requires that you maintain a minimum of 3 vehicle lengths separating your vehicle and other vehicles and maintain a greater length if you are traveling at higher speeds.

Steer Away from Danger

It is a well-known fact that most of the accidents happen when drivers lock in on the objects they are about to hit and freeze in panic. Usually, in such situations, the direction that your eyes are focusing on is where your body’s motor reflex will steer the vehicle. After all, that is how someone is able to stay on the lane in the first place, by locking one’s vision on the road in front. Therefore, when danger is about to strike, you should ignore whatever objects that’s in your path and focus on the right direction to use so that you don’t collide with the object or anything else on the road. Once you focus on your escape route, your hands will automatically steer in that direction and avoid a collision.

Forget the 10 and 2 Rule

Quite a number of notions about smart and safe driving are outdated. One of the most ubiquitous of these notions is the 10 & 2 rule. In modern vehicles, the 10 & 2 rule has no place. If you are holding your vehicle’s steering wheel at the 10 & 2 positions, your arms and wrist will lie directly in front of your vehicle’s airbag, which usually deploys with great force.

Currently, the National Highway Safety Administration recommends the 9 & 3 positions as an alternative to the 10 & 2 positions. When you correctly position your hands a bit lower on the steering wheel, you will be able to minimize the risk of getting injured since you will have created a larger opening between your limbs. If you have ever seen professional race drivers on the road, you have probably noticed that they usually grab the steering wheel on the 9 & 3 rather than 10 & 2 positions. This insight should offer some food for thought.