So You Think You Can Drive? The Traits Of A Responsible Driver

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 4 months ago
    Is there anything better than getting behind the wheel and heading out onto that open road? It’s a great feeling, a sense of freedom you might not get anywhere else. While it might feel like it’s just you and the road, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one out there - others rely on you to drive responsibly. 

    They say that with great power comes great responsibility (thanks Spider-man), something that’s never been truer than when it comes to driving. Are you a safe driver? Read more about the traits of a responsible driver and find out.

    You know how to keep your cool
    From time to time, other drivers might cause you frustration. When other drivers’ poor habits put you and others in harm’s way, it’s natural to want to feel angry and stressed. However, acting on these feelings could then lead you to become the poor driver, as your emotions get the better of you and cause you to make poor judgements.

    If you need some help staying cool behind the wheel, then take a look at these top tips for staying relaxed while driving - they could save your life.

    You’re prepared
    ‘Always be prepared’ - we learn that at as a scout, but do you practice it with your driving? As a driver, you need to be prepared for various eventualities before you set off on your journey. Knowing where you’re going makes a great start, and if you don’t know how to get there - an in-car navigation system or a maps app on your phone can take care of that for you.

    It’s also worth keeping an emergency car kit in the back of your car that contains items such as food, water, extra clothing and good walking shoes. You never know when your car might break down or you’re in a situation where you can’t get home - so being prepared for anything can help you feel more confident when you set out on your journey.

    You know what to do if you’re in an accident
    Accidents can happen at any time, and whether they’re caused by you or another driver - you should know what to do should it happen to you. Keep a notebook and pen in your car - recording those important details while you still remember them is vital, and if you want to prove negligence in the accident then you will need this information. Make sure you get yourself checked out by a doctor and get any injuries treated - even if you think they’re minor.

    Having insurance (a legal requirement when driving) and roadside assistance cover can save you a lot of time and hassle if you were to need help, so make sure that you have these in place to cover any eventuality.

    You take care of your car
    Whether you use your car every day or you’re an ad-hoc driver, car maintenance remains important. Ignoring problems with your car could mean that your vehicle is unsafe to drive - putting your life and that of others in danger. Take your car for regular checks and if you suspect that something is wrong - get it fixed as soon as you can. Over time you will get to know what’s normal for your car, so when something doesn’t sound or feel right - you’ll know it.

    Car maintenance costs money, so a good tip is to make sure that you have some rainy day money stashed aside in case your car is due for unexpected repairs. Driving comes with a financial commitment that extends beyond buying the car itself, so a responsible driver knows to keep some savings handy should the car ever need it. Remember to clean your car regularly too - this will help you keep an eye out for scratches and other damage that you might not be able to notice easily under a layer of dirt.

    You obey the rules of the road
    After getting your driver’s licence, you might feel that you can loosen up on the rules a bit and start driving your way. The rules of the road are there for a reason, and any careless or negligent driving behavior has the potential to cause an accident. Avoid bad driving habits that could get you into trouble - they’re not worth it.

    It’s worth giving yourself a refresher on road rules now and then. Reading up on what different road signs mean can help, while familiarising yourself with some basic road rules could help point out areas where you might be driving incorrectly.

    You practice
    Becoming a good driver takes practice, and if you want to be a more responsible driver, then you should simply get out there and start driving. When you drive infrequently, you can become nervous on the road, which is why regular practice will help you become a more confident driver.

    Practice driving in various conditions - at night, during rainy weather and during quiet/busy times. The more you drive, the easier it will become so a bit of practice can really help you feel more responsible. If you are nervous, having an experienced driver in the passenger seat could help give you some extra tuition that can help you build your confidence.

    You’re focused
    It’s easy to get distracted while driving, but even the slightest diversion of your attention could lead to an accident. Responsible drivers avoid using their phones, they don’t eat or drink while driving and they keep the stereo at a reasonable level. Your focus should only be on the road, and not on anything else going on inside your car.

    Learning to stay focused is an important part of learning. Make sure your kids can be responsible and focused while driving before you give your teenager their first car

    Being a responsible driver is important - it helps you become a safer driver, while also setting a good example for others. Responsible drivers have cheaper insurance premiums and are much less likely to be involved in an accident than someone who drives recklessly. Practice safe and responsible driving for the best experience when you’re out on the road.

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