Automotive technology has changed massively over the past few decades, so if you haven't just emerged from driver's education, then you may not be up to speed on a lot of the things that have changed. While it's great to brush up on the new features and adaptations that automakers have added to their vehicles, it's equally as important to brush up on the rules of the road that you may have lost track of.
There's no shame in wanting to become a better driver, so read on for a roundup of facts, tips, and best practices!
1. Take A Course
First thing's first: A defensive driving course can help everyone, regardless of their age or ability. A typical class covers skills, statistics, and so much more.
2. Parallel Parking Can Be Easy
There are plenty of tips and tricks available online to make parallel parking easier. It's really as simple as following a few steps. All it takes is practice!
3. Size Doesn't Always Mean Safety
While some drivers might argue that their large vehicle is safer than small sedans, it's not true. The size of the vehicle matters less than its cost. More expensive vehicles are better engineered and built with more advanced safety technology.
4. Ten And Two No More
When steering columns didn't contain airbags, drivers were taught to position their hands at "ten and two" on the steering wheel. Today, though, the airbag in a steering wheel could permanently injure your hands if they're in this placement. Position your hands at nine and three to keep them safe.
5. About All Wheel Drive
Unlike some drivers may think, all-wheel drive vehicles do not stop faster than rear- or single-wheel drive vehicles. All-wheel drive is great for aiding in acceleration on tough terrain, but if you're trying to stop a vehicle, it doesn't matter how many wheels are pushing you forward.
6. No Need To Give It Gas
When older vehicles had trouble turning over their engines, pressing the accelerator would help send more fuel into the combustion chamber, eventually making it easier to start the engine. Today, though, vehicles are started with fuel injection systems, and you don't need to interfere.
7. Antilock Brakes
Antilock brakes have eliminated the need to pump the brake pedal for immediate stops. When you hit your brakes hard and the pedal vibrates against your foot, your car is automatically engaging its ABS and taking care of the process for you.
8. Fast, Maybe Furious
So, about those tune-ups and modifications—upgrades to your car's suspension, engine, transmission, etc. These can all help improve your car's handling, but they're all dependent on the driver's skill.
9. Speed Bumps
Slow down before speed bumps, railroad crossings, etc. If you hit the brakes while crossing the bump, your car's nose will dip down, compressing its suspension and making it tough to absorb impact. Brake first and ease off before crossing for a smoother ride and more control.
10. Let Your Engine Warm Up
For most cars, 30 seconds of operation will get the engine warm enough to begin driving. Other fluids can still be cold at this point, though, so if you can give your car a minute to warm up, it'll help your engine.
11. Kill Distractions
Don't text while driving. Stop messing with the music. Focus on the road! If you're a distracted driver, it's just a matter of time until you get into an accident.
12. Merge Better
We've all seen drivers who merge aggressively. If you are one, it's time to cool down! Cutting lanes and stressing drivers out will just complicate already busy traffic. Be patient and practice the zipper method while merging.
13. Speed Less
Speeding through city streets won't get you to your destination faster—and there's math that backs this up. All you're guaranteeing is a higher risk of accidents or speeding tickets.
14. Drive Defensively
Practice defensive driving. Always think of safety first and pay attention to escape routes to avoid accidents. Don't depend on other drivers to follow the rules of the road and always pay attention.
Truthfully, reading tips about driving is great, but they're most beneficial when you apply them to the real world—so get out there and practice!
Do you know any drivers—new or old—that might like to take a look at this roundup? Make sure to SHARE with your friends and family.