5 top tips to improve your driving safety
Written by Jack Ramaswamy
Key areas of your driving to focus on to help you achieve a safe driving style.
Being a safe driver has many obvious benefits, not only for you and your passengers but for all drivers around you. You may be happy with your driving style but are you meeting all the key expectations to be regarded as ‘safe’? In this post we will outline 5 key aspects of driving behaviour that are analysed when establishing how safe an individual is behind the wheel.
Watching your speed behind the wheel is crucial for your safety and achieving smooth acceleration will allow you to maintain control of this. The act of rapid acceleration - while sometimes necessary when gaining speed before changing lanes or entering a motorway - should generally be avoided and is known to use more fuel as well as wear your tire tread out. A smooth acceleration approach is achieved by slowly pressing the gas pedal with the ball of your foot and waiting for the speedometer to reach the desired speed. In other words, pressing your entire foot down on the accelerator should never be done - no matter which acceleration style you are practicing.
Much like acceleration, there is a lot more to braking than just pressing your foot down. Having a quick combined decision making and reaction time will put you in a great position to execute controlled braking. This technique can be carried out by easing your foot on the brake and waiting for your vehicle to slow to the appropriate speed. The more time you have, the slower this braking process can be. This allows a smooth speed transition and prevents any skidding, tire damage or reduced control of the vehicle that are often consequences of sudden braking. Cover braking can be conducted by easing your foot off the accelerator rather than pressing the brakes and is another technique which can help you slow effectively without making your vehicle a hazard to others.
Smoothly driving through corners is not always easy but watching your speed and being aware of your surroundings as you approach the bend will help you to ease your way out. Having accurate judgement of the road curvature will allow you to carry a safe speed through until completion. Braking during a corner bend is important to avoid since this can affect your control of the vehicle given the centrifugal force associated with the cornering forces.
Road conditions are constantly changing. Whether you find yourself in dangerous weather conditions, increased traffic or facing new alternative hazards it is important to stay aware and drive suitably to the conditions. In all of these circumstances lowering your speed can provide you with that additional time to react and allow you to avoid any harsh braking. To help fellow drivers you can ensure you are not a hazard to them by maintaining a safe distance from them and keeping your lights on in circumstances where visibility is impacted.
Being alert whilst on the road is imperative for achieving the efficient reaction time that is necessary to meet many of these safety requirements. After being in your vehicle for a lengthy duration you may experience symptoms of fatigue. Addressing these early can prevent you from joining the 13% of drivers who admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once during their driving careers in a study conducted by the AA Charitable Trust. Regular rests can allow you to regather yourself and maintain your alertness.
At Zego we understand the importance of safe driving and through our Zego Sense App we’re able to provide you with the fairest price based on your driving behaviour. Adopting these 5 tips into your driving style will not only benefit your safety but also your policy premium.
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