10 Driving Mistakes You Might Make
Have you ever had road rage only to discover after your momentary bout of anger that you were really the one at fault? Don’t just blame the other drive. Become a conscientious road warrior and soon you’ll be able to improve your driving skills so that maybe, just maybe, you can put an end to road rage!
1. You’re not paying as much attention to the road as you think you are.
Distracted driving is a huge cause of accidents, and cell phone use is one of the biggest culprits. Texting is equivalent to drunk driving and using a headset can even put you at risk. Bottom line: pay attention to the road and leave the phone calls for later!
2. You’re focusing on the wrong part of the road.
Focus on the road in front of you, not trying to navigate unfamiliar territory while driving is tricky and zeroing in on road signs and exit numbers in the distance.
3. You’re waiting too long to check your tire pressure.
“You should be checking your tires regularly; when the light comes on it’s usually a worst-case scenario,” says Tony Molla, vice president of communicationsfor the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. It’s much harder to maneuver in emergency situations with low tire pressure.
4. You’re not bothering to improve your parallel parking skills.
If it gets to the point where your tires look whitewashed from so many encounters with the curb, chances are high that they will pop.Pull up beside the car parked in front of your space until the two rear bumpers are parallel, leaving two feet of space between the cars. Put your car in reverse and back up slowly, turning the wheel toward the curb as far as it will go. Once the back of your front door is even with the rear bumper of the car beside you, begin to turn the wheel away from the curb and continue to reverse into the spot.
5. You’re spending too much on gas.
“The most common mistake drivers make is that they fill up their cars with premium fuel when they don’t need to,” says Molla. “While some vehicles do require that high level of octane gas, 99 percent of the cars out there are going to run just fine on regular gas.” Check your owner’s manual to see what your car’s manufacturer recommends, and if it doesn’t call for premium fuel, don’t bother.
6. You aren’t heeding wet roadways quickly enough.
“People fail to do this because they’re unaware of the fact that the first 10 minutes of rain are when roadways are most dangerous. Those initial minutes of precipitation cause the oil that has built up on the roads to make conditions extremely slick.”
7. You’re applying too much pressure to the gas and brake pedals.
According to Molla, you’re going to get the best fuel economy “if you drive like you have an egg under your foot. If you’re going to be sitting for more than a minute or two, turn off your car. Restarting it won’t waste any more fuel than if you left it on.”
8. You change your mind about turning too often.
Everyone has switched on their turn signal only to later figure out that they’re at the wrong exit. Their biggest mistake? Not making the turn anyway. “The person behind you may not be driving with the best etiquette, and may move to pass you before you turn,” says Adam. “If you pull back onto the road, you could have a collision.”
9. Your car isn’t properly adjusted to your body.
“I know a lot of smaller women who want to be very close to the steering wheel, but you really want to leave about 8 to 10 inches between you and the wheel so the airbag can inflate properly,” says Stephanie Janczak, a safety coach at Ford Motors.
10. You aren’t prepared for vehicle maintenance.
“Most consumers think of their car as just another appliance, like a toaster, until the day it won’t start,” says Molla. He recommends putting away $25 each month to cover oil changes and unexpected maintenance. “It will slowly build up to the point where, if you need a $600 alternator, you’ll probably have enough money in the bank to cover the repair. The worst that can happen is you’ll have some extra money on the side.”
[Source: Yahoo! Shine]