YOUNG DRIVER SCHEME

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14.10.2015 How to be a safer driver

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We’re not going to lie to you, driving can be fun, and the freedom and liberation it provides can transform your life. However, while driving can be tricky, it’s just a case of making sure that you’re concentrating on the right things. So, what should you be looking out for to make yourself a safer driver?

Read the road

The further ahead you look, the more time you give yourself to react to hazards. Make sure that you’re able to stop in the distance you can see will remain clear.

Anticipate

Plan for problems which may arise – like someone pulling out from a side turning – so that you can take avoiding action in plenty of time, if necessary.

Use the two-second rule

Spot a marker ahead and wait until the car in front reaches it. As it drives past it, start counting out to two seconds – a good way of doing this is by saying “only a fool breaks the two second rule” – and if you pass the marker before you’re finished counting you’re travelling too close. Double the distance to four seconds in wet conditions.

Concentrate

At 70mph, it’ll take you the length of a football pitch to stop. Make sure you’re alert.

Assume the worst

Other drivers are idiots – or, at least, that’s what you should expect. Always assume the other driver is going to do something stupid, that way you’ll be prepared if they do.

Look behind you

Use your mirrors regularly and check your blind spot when moving away or changing lanes. This way you’ll always be aware of what’s going on around you.

Manage your personal space

The more space you leave around yourself, the more time and room you give yourself to respond to hazards.

Stay fresh

Driver fatigue is a major cause of car crashes. Make sure you take a 15-minute break after every two hours at the wheel.

Learn from your mistakes

Remember, near misses happen to everyone, so don’t worry if you have one. Just think about how you could avoid a similar situation in the future.

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