Bad driver vs good driver

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Bad driver vs good driver

Post by Lily-Anne on Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:34 pm

I'm a good driver; everyone else is bad. Sound familiar? Well, according to road safety charity Brake, that's exactly what most of the people on the road think.

A new study shows two drivers in three worry about being killed behind the wheel, while only one in a hundred believes they're less safe than the average driver. Almost everyone surveyed (98%) thinks they're a safer driver than average.

The results of another study suggest one-in-four is checking their Facebook (or other social networking) pages while driving. A staggering 81% of the 1,800 respondents admitted to using a phone behind the wheel, with half admitting texting.

So it seems that perhaps we should all be looking at our own habits before pointing the finger of blame elsewhere. That in mind, here are some dos and don'ts for driving safely:


Sign the pledge to drive safely:
A Brake campaign, the 'pledge to drive safely' is a set of seven rules you can agree to abide by. Sign up for the pledge here:

Stick to the speed limit:
A 2008 survey by Brake and Direct Line found that nine out of ten drivers admitted speeding regularly. If nothing else, think of the fuel you save - especially apt with current fuel prices. At 80mph you're using 10% more fuel than at 70mph, and above that consumption rises exponentially with speed.

Keep your car maintained:
A defective car is a dangerous one. Badly worn tyres can puncture and cause an accident; faulty brakes can dramatically increase braking distances; and broken lights impair your visibility and the ability of others to see you.

Be considerate:
Stick to the rules of the road. Use the middle and fast lanes of the motorway for overtaking only; check the lane you're supposed to be in when approaching a major roundabout to avoid cutting people up; use your indicators; check your mirrors regularly so that you know what's happening around you.


Overestimate your ability:
Andy Goldby of Direct Line says: “The vast majority of drivers seem to worry about how other people are driving, instead of evaluating their own driving skills. The 98% that think they are safer than, or as safe as the average driver, need to think about this question again.”

Drink anything before driving:
The 2008 Brake survey saw more than a third of drivers (34%) admit they'd driven somewhere after drinking alcohol. The UK road death figures are decreasing, but they're still a cause for great concern: In 2009, six people every day were killed on the road.

Touch your mobile phone while driving:
With our mobile phones now acting as the hub of our lives (calls, texts, emails, social networking, instant messaging, Internet, games), there are more and more excuses to check them while driving. If you're caught it's an offence, meaning three penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.

Take risks:
A good rule of thumb is to always drive as though you have someone important sat on the passenger seat: Drive smoothly, drive with care, and think about the possible consequences of the move you're about to make. Never let your temper control your actions, no matter how 'stupid' you think other road users' behaviour is.


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