For a new driver, learning to drive is a significant milestone and can be among the most memorable occasions. However, once you’ve got your license, it’s easy to get complacent behind the wheel and let your skills lapse. Here are 11 ways to stay sharp and improve your driving skills over time.
- 1. Stay Focused on the Road
- 2. Know Your Driving Style
- 3. Learn from Experience
- 4. Follow Traffic Rules
- 5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- 6. Practice Good Habits
- 7. Be Patient and Don’t Rush
- 8. Practice in Different Conditions
- 9. Drive Often
- 10. Get Professional Help
- 11. Be Prepared for Emergencies
- Final Thought
1. Stay Focused on the Road
It’s easy to let your mind wander when you’re driving, but it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. If you’re feeling drowsy or distracted, pull over to a rest stop or take a break. It’s also a good idea to avoid driving during times when you know you’ll be tired, such as late at night or early in the morning.
When you’re behind the wheel, give driving your undivided attention and resist the urge to multitask. Don’t text, and don’t talk on the phone while driving.
Not only is it illegal in many states to text or talk on the phone while driving, but it’s also dangerous. If you need to do any of these things, pull over to a safe location first.
2. Know Your Driving Style
We all have different driving styles, and it’s important to know your own so you can adjust as needed. Are you an aggressive driver who likes to get where you’re going quickly? Or are you more relaxed behind the wheel and take your time getting to your destination?
No matter what your driving style is, make sure you’re aware of it and know how to adjust when necessary.
If you’re prone to speeding or making sudden lane changes, for example, make a conscious effort to drive more slowly and carefully. And if you tend to be a more relaxed driver, be aware of times when you need to focus more (like when driving in heavy traffic) and make sure you’re paying attention.
3. Learn from Experience
Whenever you get behind the wheel, take the opportunity to learn and improve your skills. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up – just use it as a learning experience and try not to make the same mistake again.
And even if everything goes smoothly, take the time to think about what you did well and what you could have done better. By constantly evaluating your driving and looking for ways to improve, you’ll slowly but surely become a better driver.
4. Follow Traffic Rules
One of the best ways to improve your driving skills is simply to follow traffic rules. This may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to let small infractions slide or consciously break the law when you’re behind the wheel.
But following traffic rules isn’t just a good way to avoid getting tickets – it’s also a good way to avoid accidents. So obey the speed limit, come to a complete stop at stop signs, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
A good driver is always aware of what’s going on around them. This means being on the lookout for other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and potential hazards on the road. Paying attention to your surroundings will help you react quickly if something unexpected happens.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the roads you’ll be driving on before getting behind the wheel. This way, you’ll know what to expect and can be on the lookout for any potential hazards.
6. Practice Good Habits
The best way to improve your driving skills is to practice good driving habits. Some good habits to practice include:
- Obey the speed limit and other traffic laws
- Use your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns
- Maintaine a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
- Check your blind spots before changing lanes
- Avoid sudden starts and stops
- Yield the right-of-way to other drivers and pedestrians when appropriate
7. Be Patient and Don’t Rush
Rushing is a recipe for disaster when driving. If you’re in a hurry, give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going so you don’t feel the need to speed.
And even if you’re not in a hurry, resist the urge to tailgate or weaving in and out of traffic. Driving too close to other cars or making sudden lane changes is dangerous and puts everyone on the road at risk.
8. Practice in Different Conditions
Most of us do the majority of our driving in familiar conditions – on the same roads, at the same time of day, in the same type of weather. But it’s important to practice driving in different conditions so you’re prepared for anything.
If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, make sure to practice driving in those conditions so you know how to handle your vehicle. If you’re going to be driving in an unfamiliar area, take some time to familiarize yourself with the roads before getting behind the wheel.
And if you’ll be driving at night or during heavy traffic, make sure you have plenty of practice in those conditions as well.
9. Drive Often
The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better your driving skills will become. If you don’t drive often, make a point to get out on the road on a regular basis. Even if you’re just running errands around town, the more time you spend driving, the better your skills will become.
10. Get Professional Help
If you’re serious about improving your driving skills, there’s no substitute for professional help. If you can afford it, consider taking a defensive driving course or getting some one-on-one driving instruction from a professional.
These courses and lessons can teach you things that you can’t learn on your own, and they can help you become a safer, more confident driver.
11. Be Prepared for Emergencies
No one likes to think about emergencies happening, but it’s important to be prepared just in case. Make sure you know how to use your car’s lights and horns, and familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest gas station, hospital, and police station.
Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your car, including a first-aid kit, flares, and jumper cables. And if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, stay calm and call for help.
With these tips, hope you can improve your driving skills and become a safer, more confident driver. Just remember that it takes time and practice to really master the art of driving, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. With some time and effort, you’ll be driving like a pro in no time.