car tuning

18 Jun 2007

What makes a good driver?

We all know what winds us up in other drivers from the recent survey, so what is that essential ingredient that makes a driver stand out above the rest. The primary skill in driving is anticipation, reading the road and traffic conditions ahead.

A good driver will see congestion, blackspots or lane restrictions far ahead, be fully aware of the drivers behind and around him and move into a safe position and gradually adjust his speed well before he hits the problem. His aim is to keep the traffic flowing so he will avoid stopping, slowing to a crawl where necessary but a stop will create a delay for the traffic behind. This includes moving into a free flowing lane or even taking a left turn, if the right turn lane is blocked, and then doing a right further up the road to resume the original course. The less time we wait at junctions the less congestion there will be.

Being aware of the drivers around you, and especially those behind, can make a big difference to road safety, is the driver behind close, is he concentrating on the road, is he weaving in and out ready to overtake? A good driver will adjust his distance from the car in front to allow extra stopping distance to enable the car behind to stop safely.

When passing a junction a good driver will slow and be ready to sound his horn as a warning should a driver pulling out fail to see him. Making eye contact with drivers is a good indicatior that you can continue past the junction. If you have not made eye contact you must assume the worst and be ready to stop, slowing a little and moving your foot to the brake pedal which saves precious stopping distance.

At all times a driver should maintain a bubble of space around the car, using every available inch of the road. For example on an empty road he will drive closer to the center line as he passes a junction. If a car comes in the other direction towards him he will move away from the center line and slow when passing an occupied junction.

Being prepared to take evasive action saves seconds when the unexpected happens. As a driver you should condition yourself to look for every possible hazard and prepare an escape plan. Thoughts like "car at side of road could pull out, the other lane is clear and I can move into that" or "oncoming driver could have a heart attack and veer across the road, I can use the verge and swerve away!" It sounds silly but after a while it becomes second nature.

We learn in our test the maxim "mirror, signal, manoever" and we should all make a point of checking that whenever we plan to change our path, direction, or change lane that it is safe to do so BEFORE we start the manover!

Most accidents are caused by carelessness on the part of one driver and usually by the negligence of the other. A cautious driver will be able to counter the carelessness of others and build into his driving a safe margin.

No comments:

Help us to promote this blog:

Torquecars: Latest articles