Every time you get behind the wheel, do you really drive as best as you can? Are you practicing your driving techniques at every chance you get? We are all guilty of distractions. Some of this might seem like common sense, but we all need a little reminder sometimes. So, here are a few safety tips on how to improve your driving skills on your daily commute.
Tips for Improving Driving Techniques
My first tip is to always keep both hands on the wheel. The perfect hand position for driving is placing them in the nine o’clock and three o’clock position. You should never have just one hand on the wheel. You might find it very common with a lot of people on the road to place one hand in the twelve o’clock position, or even just resting your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel in the six o’clock position.
This is a very bad habit and plays a huge role in unsafe driving. By only placing one hand on the steering wheel, you have a very high risk of under and over correcting your vehicle. When you have both hands on the wheel, you eliminate that risk and have more time to react to any accident. Even though an accident may not be your fault, you still want to have more stability and the ability to maneuver quickly to avoid any harm.
My second tip to improve driving techniques is to drive defensively. My dad taught me how to drive before I got my license; one phrase that he used to say, which I still hear when coming to an intersection is, “if you have enough time to stop at a yellow light, then stop.” His voice always pops into my mind with every yellow light I see. The main purpose of stopping on yellow is safety, but many times people try to catch a yellow light and end up running a red. In the end, it’s not worth the risk.
Practice Defensive Driving Techniques
What driving “on defense” (defensively) means is to always be aware of your surroundings and keep an open circle of emptiness around you (room for correction if necessary). Don’t try to speed through traffic or squeeze through spaces because you think you can make it. In reality, the only vehicle you have control over is your own. You can’t control others’ actions.
My last and final tip is to take time to learn your vehicle. No, I don’t mean learn how to turn on the seat warmer or hook up your phone to Bluetooth! Nowadays technology in vehicles has gone beyond the necessities. However, there are so many helpful gadgets in your vehicle to better assist you in different conditions.
I encourage you to take some time to really get to know your car, press some buttons, read the manual, and take advantage of them! This isn’t just about technology though. Along with learning how to press traction control on and off, you must really know how to control your car. Sometimes accidents end up worse than they would have been because people get scared and don’t know exactly how to control their own vehicle.
I would highly recommend everyone who wants to improve their driving skills to read the book called The Lost Art of High Performance Driving by Ross Bentley. I hope these three tips were helpful for you; maybe try one out next time you’re on your daily commute. You don’t need to be the best driver to be a safe driver. In the end, that’s how skills improve; constantly driving with good habits and learning something new then applying it! Just like Ross Bentley says, “Drive perfect every time.”
Want to learn more about driving techniques? Consider joining Athena Racing for our next FABCamp. Make sure you get verified to be eligible to join us!
“Drive perfect every time.”
Team Member & Spokesperson
Marissa grew up working on cars because of her dad, the go-to helper grabbing tools while helping him work on his cars. Her first experience in a shop class was senior year of high school. Her teacher believed in her and pushed her to excel. That belief and support in that class led her down this career path. This year with Athena Racing will be the pivot point that accelerates her career.