New Year’s Resolutions: 9 Ways to Improve Your Driving Habits
The advent of a new year is always a good time to make new goals and improvements in your life. Since driving safely increases the life of your car and keeps you and others safe, it’s always a good time to review your habits and make resolutions to be a better driver in 2022.
1. Review your bad driving habits. It is natural to get comfortable and loosen up on routine actions, especially if you drive the same routes over and over again. So, get back to the basics and look at the foundational rules of driving that you have loosened upon over the years. Ask yourself whether you always come to a full stop at stop signs. Do you signal at every turn or when you change lanes? Do you rush to make it through a yellow light instead of stopping?
Remember that most of these are not just safety tips but that they are also the law. Be mindful of other vehicles, pedestrians, and bikers. These rules are there for a reason, so commit to them if you want to be a better driver this year.
2. Take a refresher or advanced driver course. Because most of us take a driving course in our teens and don’t worry about it again, we may develop bad driving habits over time. In addition, rules and vehicles can change over the years, and we may not know that some of the things we learned may be outdated. So, it can be useful to refresh your knowledge and skills periodically. Consider taking a driver’s refresher course once a decade to keep your skills sharp.
3. Be mindful of your distractions. Making sure that you focus on driving without distraction is important, and you know yourself and your habits better than anyone. Think about what distracts you while you drive, whether it be looking up maps, texting at stop signs, eating, using your phone, or looking up the next song that you want to listen to.
If there is someone in the car with you, you can ask them to take care of any texting or use of your phone or to set the navigation. You can look up needed maps before you leave or make playlists ahead of time. Look at your habits and decide how you can make changes so that you can be a less distracted and safer driver.
4. Adjust mirrors. While it isn’t possible to eliminate all your blind spots while driving, you can reduce them significantly by fixing your mirrors appropriately to fit your needs. Also, make sure to check over your shoulder before making lane changes and turning. Use your mirrors often! If you check every five seconds, then you can have a better sense of what is going on around you when you decide to make lane changes.
5. Keep your distance. Keeping your distance from the vehicle in front of you not only helps you to stay safe but also protects your brakes from some wear and tear as you won’t have to keep suddenly using your brake.
There are a couple of tricks to keep a good distance between vehicles, one of them is to watch the vehicle in front pass a marker and then count four seconds before you pass it. Another thing you can do is to keep your eyes moving to avoid target fixation, which happens when you focus on the same point for too long. It may lead to you not noticing how close you are to the car in front of you. This may be especially helpful on a long, straight road.
6. Use visual communication. Making visual signals not only assists you in making certain other drivers, pedestrians, and bikers know what you will do and keep you all safe but can also help avoid situations of road rage if a miscommunication occurs.
7. Avoid sleepy driving. This is an obvious tip but an important one that needs repeating. Driving while drowsy is dangerous to you and the vehicles around you and should always be avoided. Try to sleep enough before driving, and if needed, get off the road and take a short nap.
8. Regularly schedule a vision check-up. It can often be difficult to notice that your eyesight might not be as good as it used to be, especially if you are not already used to making a regular trip to the eye doctor. Vision is really important for driving safely, whether you have issues with seeing things far off or at night that need to be addressed. Resolve to check in with an eye doctor every couple of years to be certain that your eyesight is good enough for driving safely.
9. Bring your vehicle in for regular and preventative maintenance. Make the resolution to take the best care of your vehicle by visiting our Utah auto repair shop for yearly brake checks and consistent oil changes to prevent extreme wear on your engine. Preventative maintenance is useful in making sure that minor issues don’t turn into major problems later. Have more questions? Visit any of our tire shops in Park City, Bountiful, and other locations along the Wasatch Front.
It is always a good time to make improvements as a driver. We all pick up bad habits in our daily routines, so use the new year as a way to resolve to be a better and safer driver in 2022.
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