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May 08

Tips for Better Driving

Every time you put pull out of the driveway, you put yourself at risk by entering roadways congested with distracted, texting and drunk drivers. To help make sure you are as safe as possible, here are 10 useful, and entertaining, tips for becoming a better driver, suggested by Jalopnik.com readers.

            10. Test your cars limits in a parking lot – It is important to understand your cars limits.  By testing your car’s grip on a wet or snow-covered parking lot, drivers will better know how their car handles in poor conditions.

            9. Play video games – This is something kids can do before they even have their license.  While a video game can’t prepare drivers for the real world, it can help refine motor skills and the coordination necessary to control a vehicle.

            8. Learn to drive a manual – Driving a stickshift increases hand, eye and foot coordination, and it also familiarizes drivers with how parts of the driveline interact with each other.

            7. Put you phone in the glovebox and turn off the radio – Distractions can be deadly, especially to young drivers.  Removing the phone from sight helps insure drivers aren’t tempted to sneak a peek and turning off the radio will help concentration.

            6. Driving school – Not the kind where a retired police officer tries his best to keep you awake after seventh period, but rather a high performance driving education.  High performance driving instructors have vast driving experience and knowledge to share and it provides a safe environment to learn how to control a vehicle.

            5. Rally driving school – Similar to driving school, except you learn how to control a vehicle off-road or in poor conditions.  Plus it’s lots of fun. 

            4. Autocross – Let’s run through the ingredients needed for autocross: cones, parking lot, that’s it. Autocross allows you to test the limits of your vehicle, and your driving, inexpensively and safely. 

            3. Just pretend everyone else on the road is trying to kill you – Seriously. It’s the number one key in defensive driving.  It’s very rare that people signal when they turn or merge, so by assuming they have no idea what they are doing, you are able to anticipate their mistakes and react accordingly.

            2. Know what’s around you – Be aware of your surroundings. Know where other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and any road signs you pass are located.  Practicing situational awareness allows you to be one step ahead.

            1. Drive more – Practice makes perfect.  Apply lessons you have learned and the longer you’re on the road the more comfortable, and safer, you will be.

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