We think we know all of the possible safety tips when it comes to driving. All you have to do is follow the Highway Code, right? Keep your seat belt buckled. Keep your eyes on the road. Get enough sleep. Don’t distract yourself. Make sure your vision isn’t being impaired by anything. And, obviously, don’t drink or do drugs before getting behind the wheel.
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There are a bunch of “obvious” tips when it comes to driving safely. (Although, sadly, there are still way too many people out there not even following these basics.) But surely there’s more? Are there things that the best and safest drivers are doing that you’re perhaps neglecting to do? Are there any less obvious mistakes you’re making with your driver than you’re not aware of because it’s never made clear on television?
Here’s a list of less conventional safety tips. People may not list them amongst the obvious, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention!
Be careful with the music you’re listening to when you drive:
The mood that you’re in greatly affects your driving behaviour. If you’re driving while angry, you’re more likely to be distracted, which can lead to a higher chance of an accident happening. What’s going on mentally can also affect you physically. An elevated heart rate is the most common physical symptom of an abnormal mood.
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These same problems can affect you if you’re listening to music. The genre of the music you’re listening to. How much you like the music; if you love it or hate it. The volume at which you’re listening to it. All of these things have been shown to have potentially negative effects on your reaction times and driving speed.
Make sure your tyres aren’t negatively affecting your drive:
A surprising number of people aren’t aware of just how much your tyres affect how your drive. To put it simply, a tyre that is poorly made can have many negative effects. If a tyre is too heavy or too light, or not made with high-quality material, it may not react as sharply to your steering as it needs to.
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There’s also the grip to consider. Some tyres are only made to keep a strong grip in certain weather conditions while neglecting other conditions. This is why it’s best to consider your tyres a bit more when you’re checking your car. You may even want to replace your current tyres with more reliable ones. Continental tyres, for example, are well-known for their reliability.
Pay less attention to traffic signs and more on the behaviour of other drivers:
When we’re driving and we enter new territory, we tend to pay a lot of attention to traffic signs. Don’t get me wrong! I am absolutely not going to tell you not to pay attention to the signs found on and around the road. But you shouldn’t rely on them completely to keep you safe.
There are a number of problems with traffic signs that people rarely talk about. The fact is that the average driver who is in an area without traffic signs actually becomes more cautious. This sounds like an obvious conclusion, right? But think about it. That added caution can actually make them safer. They begin to pay more attention to what everyone else is doing, and they make their driving choices accordingly. So while you shouldn’t ignore traffic signs, you shouldn’t allow them to make you relaxed or complacent. Pay more attention to what other drivers are doing instead of following traffic signs regardless.
Get rid of that blind spot in your mirrors:
This one seems like a really obvious problem, but so many people seem to ignore it. The problem is the blind spot in your car’s wing mirrors. The chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. To most, it’s the part of your car that’s reflected in the bottom corner of the mirror. Many people refer to this as a blind spot and act like it’s just a natural danger of driving. It’s one of the most frequent causes of accidents. It’s such a problem that new cars are loaded with technology that detects objects that should be visible in that blind spot.
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The solution to this problem is painfully clear. All you have to do is adjust your mirror! Most drivers are actually driving around with their mirrors adjusted incorrectly. Fact: you should have them adjusted so that no part of your own vehicle is visible. There’s a reason it’s illegal to manufacture a car that doesn’t have adjustable wing mirrors! Take advantage of that and keep yourself safe with maximum visibility.