If you are a new young driver there are some driving tips to help keep you safe and accident free. Eventually these driving strategies should become second nature to you as you become more experienced and confident on the road.
Learning where your car is on the road
Good experienced drivers develop a sense of where their car should be in terms of safety on the road in terms of other vehicles and in terms of the sides of the road. To ensure that your vehicle is a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you on the road use the time interval test. According to motor vehicle safety experts, you should allow for a three second interval between your car and the next. To do this, choose a stationary mark that the vehicle in front of you has just come along side with as your starting point and count “1001, 1002, 1003”. If you reach that same stationary mark before you can count to 1003 then you are too close and may be tailgating which is also illegal.
The idea is that you need to be far enough behind the driver in front of you so that if the front vehicle has to stop for whatever reason you are far enough behind so that you can stop safely and not rear-end the vehicle. Not leaving enough room between vehicles is the number one reason for rear-end crashes. If there are weather issues such as rain or fog or other conditions where visibility is poor you need to increase the distance between your vehicle and the next.
Determining a safety cushion
Another driving “sense” that you will develop is how much space you need between your vehicle and the side of the road, other vehicles, cyclists, parked cars or road obstructions. The rule of thumb is to allow a safety cushion of 1.2 meters at the minimum between your vehicle and anything else on either side. If you are driving an unfamiliar vehicle observing a safety margin obviously becomes even more important, as you will be less likely to “have a feel” for the length of the car as you drive.
Knowing the safe distance for stopping your vehicle when in traffic is another important driving sense to develop. A good guide to use when stopping behind another car is that you should be able to see the tires of the frontward vehicle as they make contact the road. By stopping a safe distance behind a frontward vehicle you are ensuring that you will be able to safely get around the stopped vehicle if necessary due to a breakdown or other problem.
Apart from these strategies, a lot of what makes a safe driver is also found in their behaviour and attitude towards others using the road, including other cars and pedestrians. Being a calm and safe driver means respecting the road rules and be constantly aware, but also simply respecting the people around you.
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