The longer a person has been driving, the more comfortable that person is likely to be behind the wheel. While having driving experience can prove invaluable, it can also cause us to get too comfortable and overlook certain safety aspects on the road. In order for us to keep the world around us as safe as possible, we must play our part by driving safely and effectively. And whether we are seasoned automobilists or we just got our license, there are always ways we can improve. Here are some practical tips for becoming a better driver.
Understanding Your Auto Insurance
One of the first steps toward understanding your auto insurance is determining what it means to be “high risk,” which means you have too many negative marks on your driving record. This also means that you may have to pay more for auto insurance that provides sufficient coverage. However, in addition to your driving record, the car you drive (the make and model), your credit history, and your age and gender will have an effect on the rates you’ll pay each month. For example, on average, men in Texas will pay $86.46 per month, while women will pay $93.34 per month for auto insurance, though those rates will vary depending on those factors.
Change Your Ways
There’s a lot to good driving, and a lot of it comes down to the specific situation. However, there are also some general precautions that should be taken by everyone in every circumstance. For example, you should never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, nor should you ever drive while you’re sleepy. Also, don’t speed excessively, learn how to effectively merge in traffic, and cut out anything that could be a distraction (especially texting). Moreover, taking a defensive driving class is a great way to cover many topics and sharpen your driving skills.
Treat Your Rental Car Right
Safety should always be your top priority when driving. This includes when you are driving a rental car. For a number of reasons, many people tend to get lax on their driving habits when they are driving a car that doesn’t belong to them. This can lead to a host of problems. When you rent a car, double-check that it is in good shape. For instance, little things like low windshield wiper fluid or a broken window control can at least prove inconvenient and at worst dangerous. Also, remember to follow all the normal safety precautions.
- Wearing your seatbelt
- Always keeping the doors locked
- Never picking up hitchhikers
- Avoiding gas stations at night
- Parking only in well-lit areas
Use Extra Caution in the Winter
If you’ve rented a car, there’s a good chance you are out of town — possibly visiting a location you are not familiar with. It’s essential that you practice extra caution in this case. For instance, the Dalton Highway in Fairbanks, Alaska, is known for being especially dangerous during the winter. If you are driving in extreme winter weather (e.g., snow, ice, etc.) on unfamiliar terrain, you will need to drive slowly, keep a greater following distance from cars, not gas it while going up hills, and not stop while going up hills. Also, try to get a feel for how the brakes work before you set out for your destination. The best way to keep you and the drivers around you safe is to research and practice beforehand all the ways to drive safely in such conditions.
Driving is no joke, and we can all get better behind the wheel. If you’re a high-risk driver, take any necessary steps to improve your driving and acquire good insurance. Also, change any harmful driving habits you may have, and practice extra caution when driving a rental car and driving in unfamiliar and hazardous situations. Becoming better drivers is critical for the well-being of ourselves and other drivers on the road.
Article Written By Mark Conner
Photo Credit: Pexels