- Drive Safe-Tips/Guides-Safety
Passing a driving test is a major achievement in any person’s life and one to be proud of. When first learning how to drive, you have to begin with learning how to steer a car in a straight line, along with changing gears and using the correct foot pedals. Thereafter you learn to change lanes, make turns, stop and pull off on up hills and many other important exercises. But this in itself does not make a person a skilful driver. Developing true driving skills comes with experience as well as a good attitude on the road.
What does it mean to be a skilful driver?
Driving skilfully on the road is very different from driving a racing car on a track.
It’s less about the ability to handle a car well at high speed on a race circuit, and much, much more about your ability to take charge of a tricky situation, with many unknowns, and come out of it unscathed, or at least with minimal damage.
Having an in-depth knowledge of driving and some key driving abilities will go a long way to avoiding unnecessary accidents:
- Be alert and conscious while handling the vehicle tactfully while keeping to the rules of the road.
- Have experience in a wide range of conditions.
- Be knowledgeable about the technicalities of driving under various conditions.
- Drive smoothly in city traffic and on the open road.
- React quickly to brake or swerve in time to avoid a fatal crash.
- Drive defensively – check your surroundings and keep a safe zone of space around yourself.
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Qualities of a good driver
While attaining good driving abilities and skills that will help you avoid a collision is important, there are a host of personal qualities that are equally important to make driving a safer and more pleasant experience for driver, passengers, and all other road users. These include the ability to:
- Anticipate well ahead – so you can see situations developing long before they need urgent action.
- Let go of egos – cutting in to be in front of the next driver doesn’t prove that a person is better in any which way.
- Give focus and attention to the task of driving – this means multitasking is a no-no.
- Stay calm –panicking helps nothing.
- Muster patience – wait instead of hooting impatiently.
- Be generous – let other cars into a lane if they’re indicating, allow pedestrians to cross the street safely.
- Be respectful – rude gestures and swearing achieves nothing.
- Stay in full control of the vehicle – by understanding the basic mechanics of how it works.
- Communicate clearly – other road users can’t read your mind. Indicators, hazard lights, and even hand signals are all useful tools to indicate your intentions.
- Be considerate and conscious – particularly of smaller road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, and give them right of way.
Straight roads do not make a skilful driver - Paulo Coelho
In a literal sense, if you only drove on straight roads, you’d never really develop the ability to become a better driver. When it comes to accidents on the road, there’s no need for us to delve into the statistics to know that there is too much bad driving behaviour. The trouble is that it’s hard to change our behaviour when it seems everyone around us is behaving badly – by following that behaviour what we’re doing is taking the easy way out.
To change, not only must we become technically skilful drivers, but importantly, we need to break out of the mould and develop the personal qualities within ourselves that help us become fully-fledged skilful drivers. And that means being willing to take a different path from the majority, a path of growth and the building of good, safe, and all-round skilful driving.
Supa Quick are committed to safety on the road. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained is just as essential as good, skilful driving. Pop into your nearest Supa Quick service centre for a free vehicle safety check and drive out with peace of mind.
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