Unsurprisingly, driver’s education is a popular way to teach new drivers how to navigate the road. More surprising though, is that while these programs are great for learning the basics, there are some things you simply can’t learn in such semi-controlled settings. In fact, there are aspects of driving that are best learned solely from experience. And with that said, it’s time for an inside look at some driving secrets that you likely will not learn in drivers’ ed.
1. Use those Brakes!
The anti-lock braking system was made for a reason! Many accidents nowadays could be avoided if more drivers use their brakes for what they’re made for. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to go to a vacant lot some time and practice slamming on your brakes as hard as you can, and also practice keeping your foot above the brake. Don’t worry if the car starts to make noises or shutters, you aren’t hurting it! Once you apply the brakes and hold them down, practice steering as if you are trying to avoid hitting something (like a deer in the road or a reckless pedestrian.) The ABS was designed specifically so drivers could effectively avoid obstacles in their path by allowing more control over the vehicle while braking.
2. Don’t Panic
One of the most common causes of highway accidents is a driver who over corrects his/her steering wheel. Sometimes, people accidentally drift partially off the road, panic, over correct their steering wheel and ultimately drive into the next lane. This not only puts you in danger, but also others whom you’re sharing the road with. If you feel your car begin to go off the road, it’s important that you gently turn your wheel to get back onto the road in a safe manner, and not over correct. If possible, when you are driving at a time when no one else is around, it may be useful to practice intentionally going off the road a little, and then slowly and gently getting back on. This will help you to know what to do when the situation occurs on accident.
3. Nothing is better than Experience
When it comes to anything, nothing outweighs the knowledge and awareness you gain from experience, and driving is no different. That said, the best way to be a better driver is simply by practicing. In time, you’ll learn to be aware of not only the vehicles around you, but also all of your surroundings, including people, animals and other objects. You’ll also learn to make sure other drivers are paying attention, even when you have the right of way. Most importantly,you’ll learn how your own car drives in different situations. While all these tips are useful, in the end, the best way to become a better (and thus safer) driver is just to practice, practice, practice, and to learn from more experienced drivers as much as you can.
Written by Marc LaFerriere at Dents Unlimited &Toalson Glass. Marc and his expert staff offer the best auto repair Columbia MO has to offer, as well as great service that is sure to leave you smiling.