Whilst learning to drive, your instructor will be able to remove any bad driving habits you pick up, but once you pass and begin driving solo, it is easier than you think for these bad habits to creep their way back in. You may be unaware of these at first, but if they remain with you over time, you may become more of a risk on the road. Let’s go through some bad driving habits that you should prevent from occurring whilst you are behind the wheel. If you recognise these bad habits from your own driving, or even your family or friends, take a moment to refresh yourself or politely remind them of the correct ways to drive, safely. It’s time to kick them to the kerb!
Not wearing a seatbelt.
We may sound just like a parrot when it comes to this rule, but you really must always wear a seatbelt. Over time, it has become a common (and incorrect!) opinion that wearing a seatbelt appears to be ‘uncool’. No matter how far your journey, it is mandatory that you plug yourself into your seat. Any other passengers in your vehicle will also need to abide by this law. Seatbelts alone really do have the ability to save lives, should you or another vehicle cause an accident on the road. By keeping you firmly in place in your chair, they will prevent you from any excessive movement should you ever be involved in a collision of any form. Besides, if you are caught out by a member of the Police force without the use of a seatbelt, you will be charged a minimum of £100. It doesn’t seem so cool now, does it!
Ignoring your indicators.
Indicators aren’t just for politeness. They aren’t just pretty, flashing lights that come along with our vehicles. They also aren’t just to tell any nosey drivers behind of where we might be heading. Whether you are approaching a junction or a driveway, you must indicate to alert other drivers on the road that you will be slowing down and making a change of direction. It is also extremely important to indicate when approaching a roundabout. If you forget to inform other drivers of the exit you are taking, the chances of a multi-car collision are high. Stay safe and remember to indicate.
Taking out road rage on cyclists.
It is worth reminding yourself that, even if you feel like the bigger person when using the road in a four wheeled vehicle, those on two wheels (cyclists!) have just as much of a right to use the road as you do. It is common to see drivers intimidate cyclists and overtake on bends or narrow roads, at speeds that could end fatally, and this is a habit that you must leave behind. Remember, these cyclists are probably more than aware of the frustration each driver receives when getting stuck behind them, and they are likely pedalling as hard and fast as they can for this reason, so bear with them. We are all users of the road and would all like to get home safely at the end of each journey. Only overtake when it is safe to do so.
Using your mobile phone.
Alarmingly common, drivers that use their mobile phone often think that they are the invincible ones. Whilst risking danger to themselves, pedestrians and other road users, they are also putting themselves in line to be fined or have points put on their licence. Before setting off, if you are planning on listening to one of your own playlist, ensure that your phone is connected, your music has been selected and your phone has been put away out of sight before driving away from your driveway or parking space. If the car has Bluetooth or handsfree feature – it must be used for all phone calls that you make or receive. Once on the road, there should be no reason to pick up your phone that is important enough to risk the lives of you and others.
Harsh breaking or accelerating.
We hate to break it to you, but no one is actually interested in how fast your car can travel. Speeding down the road (over the speed limit may we add!) and then coming to a sharp and abrupt stop at a traffic light or junction can be dangerous. Sudden breaking is a hazard for any vehicles travelling behind you as the break light will not act as the required warning to slow down softly. Accelerating from your standstill position in a ‘fast and furious’ style could also potentially put other road users at risk, as well as intimidate them and allow their judgement of the road to be warped under the pressure. Breaking softly and allowing your break lights to show before coming to a complete standstill, as well as moving off from your stationary position in a calm and smooth way will allow all vehicles to be aware of your movements and all travel safely.
If you are aware of these bad habits within your driving and are finding it hard to separate yourself from them, feel free to get in touch with our team of instructors at Lanes School of Driving for a quick refresher course. For over 100 years we have been helping learners and drivers to become safer on the road. Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 where we will be happy to assist.