No one ever said that driving was without risk. It is, in fact, inherently dangerous. But you can take steps to make your driving experience as safe and risk-free as possible. That’s why it always makes sense to have driving lessons with a professional instructor. They will not only teach you how to drive, but how to do so safely. How to abide by the rules of the road. And how to avoid the habits that result in accidents. And part of that, is understanding the things you really shouldn’t be doing while driving.
Dangerous Things You Shouldn’t Do While Driving
Tailgating – or driving too close to the car in front of you – is dangerous for a range of reasons. Firstly, it gives you less time and space to react should something happen. Secondly, it leads to a more intense driving experience. Because you have to react more quickly to everything the car in front of you is doing, you’ll find yourself braking and accelerating far more frequently than you would if you had left a greater gap between you. And because you’re having to brake and accelerate more often, you’ll end up using more fuel. Lastly, when you tailgate, you’re more likely to annoy and distract the driver ahead. This means that they may not drive as safely as they otherwise would, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Speeding is against the law for a reason. It reduces the control you have over your car, and consequently your stopping time. It endangers others. And it usually means that you are driving inappropriately for the road and location in which you find yourself. And when you’re speeding, if an accident does occur, it increases the trauma of the impact. Typically, the faster you are travelling, the lower the likelihood that you – or anyone else – will survive the impact.
It’s really easy to forget to signal when you’re concentrating on where you’re going. That’s why failing to signal is one of the most common reasons for people failing their driving test. But it’s also really dangerous. Other drivers rely on you to signal your intent. If you don’t let people know when you’re about to turn or pull out, they are more likely to impact with you.
Using your phone
Whether it’s calling or texting, phone use can be a major distraction in a car. It can take your eyes from the road and your hands from the wheel – even if momentarily. You can travel 100 yards in seconds, and a lot can happen in that time. A child can step onto the road. A bus can pull out. And you can run into both of them without seeing that it’s about to happen.
Eating and drinking
When you talk about drinking and driving, most people assume you’re talking about alcohol. But soft drinks and snacks, let alone larger meals, can be a dangerous distraction. Food and drink mean that at least one of your hands is off the wheel. It means that, try as you might, you can’t help but concentrate on what your hand is doing as much as what the car is doing. And that means that your reaction times are slower.
Drinking alcohol, using illegal substances, or certain prescription medications
Anything that impacts your perception and reaction speed must be avoided while driving. While most people know that you shouldn’t drink and drive or drive when under the influence of illegal substances, many people forget about prescription drugs. And there are quite a lot of them that can impact your driving ability. So, if you’re taking a prescription, make sure you read the small print before getting behind the wheel.
There’s no getting away from the fact that driving can be frustrating. But driving when angry is never a good idea. It’s something else that can impact your perceptions and reaction times. It can make you impulsive. And it can make you drive more aggressively. In 2022, there were 3,208 cases of road rage in the UK. And while there are no specific laws for dealing with road rage, prosecution can occur for a wide range of repercussions relating to it. It can also result in serious traffic accidents.
Shaving or putting on make-up
Like eating, both of these are serious driving no-nos. Because they take your mind off the job and your hands off the wheel. Consequently, slowing your reaction times and reducing your observational capabilities.
It’s natural to be curious. But if you see an accident, or there are flashing lights ahead or to the side, unless you can help, don’t stop. Don’t slow down to find out what’s going on. And don’t get out of your car. Unless you’re a medic, there’s nothing you can do. And if other people are already in attendance, you’re just going to get in the way. By slowing down, you’re causing an obstruction, which will lead to wider congestion. If you stop, you could cause another accident. So, just keep driving by. You’ll usually be able to sate your curiosity on Google when you get home.
It’s easy to drive safely. You simply follow the rules and take the instruction that you were given during your lessons. Dangerous driving, more often than not, takes effort. So, just remember what the sensible course is, and your driving experience will be as safe as possible.
Are you looking for driving lessons in the West Midlands area? Get in touch with DGN.