21 Smart Driving Tips for New Drivers:
You're biggest risk of having a bad accident is within the first two years of you passing your driving test.
Follow these hints and you can reduce this risk.
- After passing your test it will be strange to find an empty front passenger seat. The first time you drive take someone with you for support. Think seriously about displaying a `P' plate.
- When you do have to drive completely alone, begin on roads that you know but remember to keep a road atlas in the car in case you get lost.
- When you get your confidence, drive like you own the car, not the road!
- You've learnt to drive and passed your test by sticking to the rules. Stay this way and you'll stay alive. So will your passengers and others on the road.
- Your quick reactions won't always stop you having an accident. Spotting and responding to problems ahead in plenty of time will.
- Drive in a way that suits your ability and the traffic conditions. It doesn't impress anybody if you drive fast in the wrong places and you could end up in a lot of trouble.
- Have plenty of sleep, especially before making a big journey and take plenty of rest breaks to restore your alertness. Listen to the radio for traffic reports and make sure you've enough fuel.
- Fiddling with the radio or a cassette when your driving can be distracting, so can playing your sound system so loud that you can't hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle.
- Give your mates a lift, but remember you're the driver so you're in control. Don't succumb to peer pressure. If they give you hassle, drop them off at a bus stop!
- Keep your eyes moving but don't scare your passengers by turning your head away from the road ahead when talking to any of them!
- Take motorway tuition and seriously think about advanced driver training. Research shows that it makes better drivers.
- Driving a four wheel drive motor doesn't suspend the laws of physics. You can still lose control if you ask too much of it.
- Don't leave valuables in your car where they can be seen because this invites a break in.
- Keep space from aggressive drivers. Don't get involved in trouble.
- Be seen. Whenever you need to turn your windscreen wipers on switch your lights as well.
- If you're driving on a slippery or loose surface use the foot controls very gently.
- Taking drugs and driving, like drinking alcohol before driving is a definite `No'..
- Before driving abroad you need professional advice.
- Keep some tools in your car !
- If you're driving alone, particularly if you're a woman you should:
a. Plan your journey properly and let somebody know your route.
b. Carry a pen, paper, maps, first aid kit, torch, small change, warm clothing/blanket and a fire extinguisher.
c. Carry a mobile phone (only for emergencies).
d. Carry a personal attack alarm.e. Be sure that your car is in good order and join a recovery organization
* If you can, pull up where there are houses, street lighting and a telephone.
* If you are somewhere remote you are at less risk if you stay inside your car. Use your mobile phone. If you have to walk take your personal attack alarm with you.
* If a stranger does offers assistance, note their car number, keep your doors locked, speak to them through a closed window and send them to get help.
- Stay out of the way. Give aggressive drivers plenty of room to get around you.
- Drive defensively. Do not assume other drivers will follow traffic rules.
- Do not insist on your right-of-way if another driver is challenging you.
- Give a tailgater an opportunity to pass you by changing lanes.
- Be alert to those who are putting on makeup, talking on car phones, reading, eating or otherwise not paying attention to driving.
- Give cars room to merge ahead of you.
- Follow these tips to avoid rude or aggressive driving tendencies yourself.
- Don't make eye contact with an aggressive driver.
- Don't use obscene gestures.
- Use your horn sparingly.
- Don't block the passing lane.
- Don't switch lanes without signaling.
- Avoid blocking the right-hand turn lane.
- Do not tailgate.
- Don't get distracted by the car phone.
- Don't play the radio excessively loudly.
- Allow plenty of time for your trip.
- Driving is transportation, not competition. Want to compete? Find a racetrack.
- Be courteous, even when other drivers are not. Retaliating won't get you where you're going any sooner. Don't assume the other driver is out to antagonize you; he or she may just be in a hurry, too.
- It's not your job to teach others to drive. If, for example, you block a speeding car to slow it down, you might be inviting trouble. Leave law enforcement to the police.
- Make time good instead of making good time. If it takes 25 minutes to get to work, why leave yourself only 15? Leave earlier and don't play beat the clock. If driving makes you impatient, play music or listen to a book on tape to pass the time.
Warning signs for drowsy drivers
- Eyes closing or not focusing by themselves
- Difficulty in keeping your head up
- Yawning constantly
- Not remembering driving the last few minutes
- Drifting between lanes, tailgating, or missing traffic signs
- Jerking the car back into the lane after drifting
- Never assume that an apparently aggressive act was intended.
- Inhibit your own anger by taking deep breaths, keeping yourself calm or putting on relaxing music.
- If you're being hassled by another driver, try not to react. Avoid making eye contact.
- Keep your doors locked and your windows up.
- When stopped in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car you're following.
- Try not to disassociate yourself from the people in the cars around you. Pretend other drivers are people you know.
- First and foremost make every attempt to get out of the way.
- Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
- Wear your seat belt. It will hold you in your seat and behind the wheel in case you need to make an abrupt driving maneuver and it will protect you in a crash.
- Avoid eye contact.
- Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
- Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location, and if possible, direction of travel.
- If you have a cellular phone, and can do it safely, call the police.
- If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the driving behavior that you witnessed.
- Use positive self-regulatory sentences.
- Acquire a supportive driving philosophy.
- Act as-if positive when you feel negative.
- Adopt cooperative role models and symbols for cars and driving.
- Practice self-witnessing for objective self-awareness.
- Regularly consider the effect of your driving on others.
- Come out swinging positive when getting into trouble with others.
- Shrink your emotional territory.
- Learn to
satisfy the sense of personal freedom through smart driving.
- Practicing patience in the car will ease your mind and take you far.
- Drive smart and put a smile in your heart.
- Ask yourself if it's right for you to tailgate. How do you feel when someone tailgates you?
- They made a mistake? Give them a break!
- Listen in on your thinking behind the wheel. Do you fuss and cuss and make a big deal? That's unhealthy for your body and mind. Drive with Aloha toward all humankind.
- Do you feel locked into traffic, unable to move? Worried you'll go crazy if you can't get out of it? Try some quick mood changers: start singing; make silly animal sounds, listen to music that calms you, tune in to talk radio, put a talking book in your tape player, enjoy a moment to yourself, mentally plan a vacation trip, look around and enjoy the scene, become one with the traffic flow, count your blessings.
- Just go with the flow no matter how slow
- Drive with Aloha Spirit. Let someone go ahead.
- Keep children safe in cars. Always fasten their seatbelts. Always use car seats securely in place in the back seat.
- Rushing, tailgating, and lane hopping? Relax and play follow the leader, Resist the urge to be an impatient speeder.
- Enjoy the journey. If another driver bothers you, get out of the way. Be smart, turn down challenges. Set a good example. Don't try to teach other drivers a lesson.
- Make it a safe trip. Keep a cool head, an alert eye, and a steady hand.
- You're in traffic -- driving like a maniac. You moan and groan -- are you anger prone? Give up your bad mood -- it's no fun to be rude. Take things in stride -- enjoy the ride. Arrive alive.
- Take it easy, why drive yourself crazy? Keep peace in the car and on the road.
- You can learn to love traffic. Enjoy the ride. It's part of your journey in life.
- Treat other drivers as you'd want them to treat your son or daughter.
- Frustrated? Upset? Angry? Quick -- make silly animal sounds. They'll help you calm down.
- Think bad, feel bad, be bad. Think nice, feel nice, be nice. It's your choice!
- Don't fight -- Drive right. Don't compete -- Just follow along. Don't do wrong -- Sing a song! Don't swear -- Learn to care!
- Thin and act like the driver of this car is dedicated to non-violence
- Avoid win-lose situations. Look out for win-win opportunities. Help other drivers along the way. Be a supportive driver. Spread your random acts of kindness around.
- Avoid the hassle of left lane driving. Because that's where road rage is thriving. Have you tried the right lane lately? It's slower, safer, smarter, nicer
- Don't let your bad mood do the driving. Think kind thoughts and drive with Aloha in your heart.
- Reason with yourself: Anger is unhealthy Don't express it, don't suppress it, confess it! Forgive and live!
- Don't think of it as being cut off. Think of it as helping someone in trouble.
- You don't feel like being nice? Just act as-if you are -- and you will be.
- Preserve the spirit of community. Give a courtesy wave to reward civility
- Does it seem like the other lane is always faster? Be safe and stay in your lane You'll get there just as quick.
- Hey, car lovers! Respect one another.
- Go ahead, make your day. Be a nice driver all the way
- Let someone go ahead of you. Brake for people on foot. Avoid blocking the passing lane. Resist following too close. Make a full stop when required. Go slow around the bend. Signal ahead of time. Do these things and you're a good driver.
- Driving defensively is smart. Driving altruistically is even smarter. Careless driving is bad. Defensive driving is better. Aloha Spirit driving is best.
- Drive under the influence of awareness. It will save a lives.
- How much are you driving over the speed limit right now? Is it safe to do that?
- Do you see someone driving at the speed limit? They're doing a good thing. They're saving lives.
- Did you know that most traffic accidents are caused by driver error? Please watch out and be alert.
- Do you feel frustrated in traffic? Are you impatient? Take a deep breath. There's time to slow down.
- Is your radio playing very loud? Have a heart and be considerate of your neighbors on the road.
- Last year more than 40,000 Americans died in traffic accidents. Almost 4 million people were seriously injured on the road. Don't take risks! Protect each other.
- People are walking up ahead. Approaching fast is threatening to them. Be gentle and your car will be too.
- Are you having negative thoughts about another driver? Do you feel justified that you're "in the right"? Then you're in a state of road rage! To back out of road rage start singing or making silly animal sounds. Then give yourself pep talks about human rights, noble feelings, smarter choices, acceptance of diversity, forgiveness, giving people greater latitude. Think like an Aloha Spirit driver, and you'll act like one!
- Anger released is anger increased. Anger transformed is anger dissolved. Anger and indignation weaken your immune system and your heart. Tolerance and humor diffuse anger, reduce stress, and keep you alert. You can make smarter choices and enjoy hassle-free, safer, more pleasant rides. And feel part of the community of drivers.
- Don't drive drowsy -- research shows that people are unable to predict when they will fall asleep.
- Avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers -- don't escalate a dangerous situation!
- Give bicyclists wide berth -- they sometimes need to maneuver around potholes, opening car doors, and other obstacles.
- Stop at red lights -- sounds simple, but red light violators cause thousands of crashes every year!
- Avoid distractions while driving -- pull over if you need to use your cell phone.
- Pass on the left, drive on the right.
- Don't overdrive your headlights at night, especially in areas where animal crossing signs are posted.
- Avoid stopping on major highways whenever possible.
- Wear your seatbelt at all times.
- Don't drive drunk! Appoint a designated driver
- Don't honk at someone.
- Don't make an offensive hand gesture.
- Don't yell at someone or swear.
- Don't rev your engine to indicate displeasure.
- Don't shine your high beams in retaliation.
- Don't deliberately cut someone off.
- Don't tailgate.
- Don't brake suddenly to punish a tailgater.
- Don't block a lane.
- Don't rave.
- Don't chase.
- Divert your attention. Instead of automatically reacting when you feel angry, diffuse your emotions by counting slowly, singing, or making funny animal noises -- meow, roar, or moo -- for about 10 seconds (best done when you're alone in the car and the windows are up).
- Strive for a comfy drive. A pleasant environment wards off stress. Put in a book-on-tape of something you've been meaning to read or treat yourself to a pair of sleek leather driving gloves.
- Go with the slow flow. Because driving behavior can be contagious, cruising on the highway in the left lane may make you feel pressured to match an escalating pace. Switch to the right lane and set your own speed.
- Consider the cause. Don't assume that other drivers' mistakes are intentional or personal. Reduce your hostility by attributing their offense to something excusable and situational -- say, a malfunctioning car or illness.