Hitting upon the realization you are a dangerous driver before you hit someone!

We all know that there are various dangers on the road, and there’s plenty of advertising campaigns out there that tell us not to speed and not to drive erratically, but we all ignore them from time to time. We can all suffer from being a dangerous driver. It’s not just about a sheer ignorance of the rules, but we can all fall foul of not being in our right mind. But when we hit upon the realization that we can be dangerous from time to time, what are the real ways we can learn from our mistakes? 

LOOK AT YOUR REACTION TIMES

This is especially true if you are someone that thinks nothing of having a tipple before getting behind the wheel. While we know that we shouldn’t drink and drive, there is a limit that we all think we can get away with. But one of the most sobering aspects of learning your abilities behind the wheel is to look at your reaction times. Alcohol impairs our ability to drive, but more importantly, it impairs our ability to react. While many states are relaxing their laws in terms of the use of marijuana, this can mean that it’s likely to become a key factor of car accidents.

The same thing applies to where you are driving drunk or driving high. When you are impaired and caused an accident, you could end up with a DUI or have your license suspended. And yes, while it’s possible to get a hardship license in some states if it was shown that your reaction times and ability were significantly impaired, it’s unlikely you will be allowed behind the wheel. The best thing that you can do is to check your reaction times at home using one of the many programs out there and see if you would be able to react in time after a drink.

CHECK YOUR FOCUS

Driving becomes an automatic habit in certain circumstances. When you are looking at something like the daily journey into work, it’s very easy to become complacent. You may very well find it as soon as you get up you grab a quick coffee and get in the car without having properly woken up. And it’s something we’re all guilty of. When you go on the same road, you usually become aware of certain curves and speed limits. But if you are driving down these roads with a minimum of focus, there can always be a surprise.

Checking your reaction times is crucial, but you also need to make sure that you are supremely focused behind the wheel. When you don’t focus properly on the road because you’re taking the same journeys every day, what are the main problems? For many, it’s usually the fact that they are tired, or it could be to do with driving distracted. If you take the journey into work as an opportunity to wake up, this is dicing with danger. It’s essential to make sure that you are focused before you get into the car.

MINIMIZING YOUR DISTRACTIONS

It’s not just about what we do in the car that can distract us, but it’s also about where our head is at. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents now, and it’s not just due to the fact that it’s easy to check a text message when you are driving on a certain road. Still, it’s also important to think about things like tiredness, but also your mental state. When you feel stressed about a certain situation, your focus isn’t on the road. So many people that feel stressed driving is one of those soothing practices because it takes your attention from your inward thoughts to the external.

But when we have numerous distractions in the car and our heads, this can prove to be incredibly dangerous. Many people don’t consider their mental health in relation to driving on the road. But for so many people out there that are operating with a certain amount of brain fog or are going out in the car when the head is not in the game. Of course, it’s easy to say not to do this, but when we feel like this, we have to learn tactics to bring us back into the present. This could be something like mindfulness, but there are also approaches like hypnosis that can help to bring yourself back to the present to keep your attention on the road.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING AN EXAMPLE

Driving is these days a very passive-aggressive activity. If you ever have a near-miss, it’s very easy to blame everybody else apart from you. When you have a near-miss, it’s important to take the opportunity to go over the incident. Was there something that you could have done differently? Many people failed to yield the right-of-way. And this is one of the major causes of accidents, especially on freeway merge ramps.

And when you start to look at how you can set the better example on the road, partly it can be about going back to the drawing board and understanding the aspect of your driving where you are falling down. But of course, nobody likes to be told where they are going wrong. The best thing for you to do is to take the opportunity to start looking at your abilities behind the wheel and how they’ve changed since you passed your driving test. Many drivers improve down the line, but it’s also important to note that many people get bad habits.

Setting an example isn’t just about driving with due care and attention, but it’s also about not conforming to the passive-aggressive nature of other drivers. There are so many people that will cut you up and will shout at you, but it’s important to remember that conforming to that method of driving is incredibly unhealthy.

You may feel that you are quite a good driver, but everybody can benefit from checking habits on occasion. You may be great in so many different areas, but there could be one component of your skills that make you a dangerous driver.


Photo Credit: Newspress

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