Common Driving Mistakes and How to Avoid Making Them
by: John Wells on
Whether you’re a new driver or you’ve been driving for most of your life, everyone is capable of mistakes from time to time. What’s important is that you recognise these mistakes and then you can correct them to make sure you’re as safe as you can be on the road. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 most common driving mistakes and tell you how you can avoid making them.
When you first enter a car and close the door, before you do anything else you should properly adjust your driving position. This may especially be the case if multiple people use the same car. Improper driving position can cause your reactions to slow down and provide you with less control of your vehicle:
What you should do: Check; your mirrors, seat, head rest, and steering wheel, is in the right position for you to drive safely.
Distraction can come in many forms - maybe it’s a text message you’ve just received or possibly a disorderly group of friends in the back of the car. Mobile phones are one of the biggest causes of distinction to road users, and even if your attention is diverted for only a few seconds it is enough to cause a serious accident.
What you should do: Ignore your mobile phone and/or other electronic device until you are parked safely. Give the road your full attention.
If you’re venturing to new areas then planning and preparation is key here. If you have a good knowledge of your route prior to starting your journey then it’s really going to help to make it as smooth as possible. You don't want to constantly worrying about your route and directions when you should be focused on driving.
What you should do: Plan your route prior to setting off and know how long it will take for you to reach your destination. Use an accredited GPS.
4. Tyre Maintenance
Tyres are integral to your car so keeping them in shape will be of the utmost importance. To properly be in control check the tread depth and also the tyre pressure.
What you should do: You should regularly check your tyre pressure before any long trips or driving in bad weather conditions. Look at your dashboard for any warning signs and feel the tyres by pressing them (you shouldn’t be able to feel the tyre). If your tyres are in good condition your car shouldn’t veer in one direction.
5. Improper Signalling
It’s paramount to use your indicators as this informs other road users what you intend to do. You may be parking, turning, reversing or merging and you should always use the appropriate signal.
What you should do: Use you indicators more frequently. Understand your highway code for when you must use your signal.
6. Driving When Unfit To Do So
Driving tired or even if you’re just dehydrated can be very costly. Dehydration or tiredness can put your concentration levels at a dangerous low levels. Of course you should never drive under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, or even if you're just feeling sick.
What you should do: Make sure you're in a fit state to dive before starting your journey. Don’t take any dangerous risks. Take regular breaks to recharge your batteries.
Other road users may be driving above the speed limit, but this doesn't mean its okay for you to do so. The Speed limit is set for a reason and must be abided by. You never know what hazards may occur so you need to be in the right speed to make sure you can quickly adjust yourself.
What you should do: You should always be aware of your speed when driving. Drive within the appropriate speed limit.
It's important to not follow the car in front of you too closely and it could be highly dangerous especially if the weather conditions are poor. If the driver in front needs to brake hard then you could easily end up bumping into the back if you’re not paying close attention.
What you need to do: keep your distance from the car in front to minimise risk. Use the two-second rule! Allow more space in poor weather.
9. Not Seeing the Bigger Picture
Some road users will just focus on what's directly in front of them. Looking too narrowly on the road.
What you need to do: You need to look at the bigger picture to fully comprehend your surroundings. By looking further ahead you can anticipate any potential hazards and adjust your driving accordingly.
10. Not Checking Your Blind Spot
It easy for drivers to forget their blind spot. You need to be 100% certain that no one is in your blind spot when you are turning or changing lanes.
What you need to do: You need to check your blind spot when you turn or change lanes. Lean forward and check over your shoulder if necessary.
What do you think are the most common driving mistakes? Did we miss anything? Let us know your thoughts. Remember if you’re just starting out with your driving or if you’re a seasoned driver make sure you always put safety first. If you don’t drive with care and caution then you’re not only putting yourself at a greater risk but also other road users.