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Common sense advice for drivers

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Driving tips
that make sense

When we're out in our cars, we tend to let our emotions rule the road versus common sense. Experts and every day drivers remind us of the important common sense rules of the road we should all be using.

Smiling and confident young woman sitting in car

Driving tips that make sense

When we're out in our cars, we tend to let our emotions rule the road versus common sense. Experts and everyday drivers remind us of the important common sense rules of the road we should all be using.

The road-savvy driver: Increase awareness and reaction time

As a meeting and events consultant, Sherry Johnson travels extensively and often finds herself traversing the roads of unfamiliar cities. She offers a few of her best tips, saying that each one is used to increase awareness and reaction time.

  • Aim high in driving. You should be looking farther down the road than the tail lights of the car in front of you.
  • Leave yourself an out. Position yourself so that you have an empty lane or a shoulder next to you.
  • At stoplights or stop-and-go traffic, leave enough room from the car in front of you so that you can get around them if needed.
  • Easy on the brake, easy on the gas. If you follow the above rules, you should be able to avoid knee-jerk reactions.

From the pro

Brandon Dufour is the general manager of All-Star Driver, the largest driver's education school in the country. He offers some sage advice from a professional standpoint.

Keep your distance

Keep a minimum of a three-second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

"Keep a minimum of a three-second distance between you and the vehicle in front of you," Dufour says. He adds that in extreme weather conditions, you should increase this amount of time from three seconds to five seconds. He says, "For example, when you see a car in front of you pass a telephone pole, you should be able to slowly count to three before you pass the same pole."

Use your lanes wisely

Dufour says using lanes properly is of the essence on the road today. He advises, "The left lane should be used for passing only, not cruising. The center lane is for steady driving and the right lane is for slower vehicles. It's also important to remember to turn into the same lane as you are turning from."

Don't get distracted

How many times have you driven down the road to see someone putting on mascara or even reading the newspaper while trying to drive!? It's important to focus on the road — and nothing else — when driving. Dufour says, "Distracted driving — such as eating, texting, applying makeup and pets on laps — all contribute to thousands of accidents every year. Even the most advanced drivers should be aware of these dangers and not engage in them while driving."

According to DistractedDriverAccidents.com, 3,092 people are killed and 416,000 are injured annually as a result of distractions while driving. The site reminds drivers to buckle up before driving, to keep eyes and mind on the road, to keep hands on the wheel and to let incoming calls or texts wait until you get to your destination.

More on safe driving

How to choose a driving school for your teen
Explaining the importance of the no-driving-while-texting rule to your teen
Keys to the wheels: Safe driving tips for teens

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