• 2024-06-13 12:25:45
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    Jun

Bad Driving Habits You Should Avoid

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It’s, unfortunately, all too easy to fall into bad driving habits, even for the most experienced drivers. But these habits, which can often be developed without even thinking about them, can result in dangerous driving behaviour as well as increased wear and tear on your vehicle.

In this blog, we explore some of the common bad driving habits you should avoid so you can remain safe on the roads.

Not using indicators

Not using your indicators is not only annoying for other drivers but it can also be dangerous. Your indicators will tell other drivers and pedestrians what you intend to do, whether that’s turning into a junction, changing lanes or coming off of a roundabout, so they can act accordingly. Using your indicators too early, too late, or not at all can cause a serious accident.

Tailgating

Tailgating is a seriously dangerous habit to get into. Whilst it can be frustrating if someone is driving slowly, you can cause an accident by getting too close to their car. You should always leave plenty of space between your car and the car in front. According to the Highway Code, you should leave at least 2 seconds in good conditions, 3 seconds when driving at 70 mph, at least 4 seconds in rainy conditions and more still on icy roads.

Rubber necking

Rubber necking is when people slow down on a road to look at a crash or incident. This can be dangerous and cause a crash as other drivers might not be expecting you to suddenly slow down. It can also cause an issue by creating a chain reaction of slowed traffic, which can create a traffic jam. You should always keep your eyes on the road, but be aware for any obstructions or closed lanes near an incident.

Resting your hand on the gearstick

Resting your hand on the gearstick is a common habit drivers fall into. We all know that we should be keeping both hands on the steering wheel, to ensure we can react quickly and efficiently if we need to steer suddenly.

But as well as possibly being dangerous, resting your hand on the gearstick can also cause problems with your car. Putting pressure on the gearstick will cause the mechanisms inside to rest against each other, which can result in premature wear. Repairing the delicate gear system can be costly, so it’s best to avoid resting your hand on the gearstick and instead keep both hands on the wheel.

Not checking your blind spot

Blind spots are areas around your car that you won’t be able to see just using your mirrors. Not checking your blind spot can be especially dangerous on dual carriageways and motorways, when cars can come up behind you quickly. If you don’t turn to check over your shoulder before changing lines, you could collide with another car – so you should always make sure you’re checking your blind spot to ensure it’s safe before switching lanes.

Driving over speed bumps too fast

Speed bumps are there for a reason – to ensure people are driving slowly. Whilst they can be a pain, not slowing down enough to drive over them can cause issues with your vehicle. Driving over speed bumps too quickly can damage your suspension, and even impact the rear or front of the car, or the exhaust system. All of these can be costly to repair, so the safest thing to do is make sure you slow down to drive over bumps.

Riding the clutch

Riding the clutch is when drivers will drive with their foot still half on the clutch pedal after changing gears or on a hill. This can cause premature wear and tear on the system, which can be an expensive problem to resolve. Every time you change gears, make sure you fully disengage the pedal. If you’re doing a hill start, keep the car in neutral with your handbrake on until you’re ready to move.

Speeding

Speeding is obviously illegal and very dangerous. Getting caught speeding will result in fines and even the loss of your licence if you’re severely over the limit. Even driving a little bit over the limit can be dangerous – a pedestrian hit by a car going 35 mph has a one in three chance of being killed, but a pedestrian hit by a car going 30 mph has a one in five chance of being killed. You should always stick to the speed limit and never go over.

Overloading the car

Did you know that your car will have a maximum weight limit? Whilst cars can generally carry heavy loads, all cars will have a limit which shouldn’t be exceeded. Doing so can put pressure on the mechanisms of the car, including the brakes and suspension, and cause premature wear and tear.

In addition, if you store things in your car, you might not be exceeding the weight limit, but you will be using more fuel than needed. You should aim to clear your car out, not use it for storage, and make sure you always keep it under the maximum weight limit.

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