Being a sensible driver is about more than knowing all the rules of the road. Getting your driver’s license might be a sign that you know your stuff and you’ve got the practical skill necessary to operate a vehicle but it isn’t a sign that you necessarily know how to drive safely and sensibly. The pieces of advice in this article should help you understand the real key to being a sensible driver.
There will always be aggressive drivers on the road. The only way to safely react to such drivers in dangerous situations is to take the defensive approach. Reacting to another driver’s reckless behavior on the road with anger will only make an accident more likely. It’s vital that you keep your distance from dangerous drivers and dangerous emotions. Road rage and stress can make it harder to judge the road or make rational decisions.
Still, cars aren’t the only vehicles on the road. You might want to do some research into the causes of motorcycle accidents if you’re a motorcycle-owner rather than a car-owner. There are so many more deaths on the road involving motorcyclists than there are for passengers and drivers of cars. Of course, defensive driving is important no matter what vehicle you’re driving.
Don’t drive in a bad mental or physical state.
This has been touched upon in the point above but being in the right mental and physical state for driving goes further than avoiding road rage. You need to think about substances you consume and how they might affect your body. Alcohol is the big one, of course. Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous; even if you think you’re in control of your car, you’re not. And that goes for any substance that affects your mental state. You shouldn’t be on the road if you can’t give it your full attention.
It isn’t just alcohol or other mind-altering and body-altering substances that you should avoid before getting behind the wheel of a car. In addition to keeping your body clean, you should only ever drive if you’re mentally focused. That means distractions such as squabbling kids in the car should be avoided (and ignored if they do happen). It also means that sleepiness can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. If you suspect that you might be a little too tired to devote your full concentration to the road then you shouldn’t get in the driving seat of any vehicle. Distracted driving is something you can avoid in the moment but tiredness is something that can only be corrected with a good night’s sleep. Don’t take the risk if you’re in the wrong mental state.
The last piece of advice on this list is an obvious one but it’s one that so many drivers ignore: don’t speed. You should keep an eye on road signs to make sure that you’re always within the speed limit. It’s not enough to simply “get a feel” for how fast you should be going on a road. If the drivers in front of you are exceeding the speed limit and you simply keep up with the speed they set then you’ll be speeding as well. Stick to the limit even if other drivers don’t. You’ll be keeping yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians safe.