Staying safe on the road


I have a friend who–to put it delicately–is an awful driver. He’s reckless and drives too quickly, he takes turns too sharply, he accelerates as fast as possible when traffic lights turn green, and he just generally makes me worry when I’m in the car with him.

So I brought this up to some of my friends, with the idea that perhaps we should all try to make sure that we’re the ones driving to most places, so that this friend of mine would end up safely in a passenger seat. I wasn’t surprised that my friends agreed that this one friend was a terrible driver, but I was surprised to hear them tell me that they don’t like my driving, either, and that it scares them just as much!

So I guess maybe I’m not the best driver, which leaves me asking–for both me and my friend–this question: how do I get better?

First of all, congratulations: it’s clear that you have a knack for taking criticism in a constructive way. It’s a psychological fact that we tend to think of ourselves as better drivers than most other folks on the road, and it can be tough to hear that we’re not the smooth masters of the road that we may think we are.

You’ve taken your friends’ suggestions to heart, and it may save your life. Cars are safer than ever, but car accidents are still a huge problem and present a deadly risk to drivers all over, note practitioners at Richmond University Medical Center’s Staten Island immediate care center. Every year, over 37,000 Americans die in road accidents, while a further 2.3 million are injured or disabled. Accidents can cost you physically, mentally, and financially–especially if you’re the party at fault, say legal aides at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad Law Offices, a group of motor vehicle injury attorneys in Pennsylvania.

So what can you do about your poor driving? You could take a good look at the many lists of common driving mistakes available online and ask yourself if you’re guilty of any of them. Better yet, you can ask your friends for more specifics. It will help to know what you’re actually doing wrong so that you can try to fix it. For more professional help, you may want to reach out to a professional driving coach. Driver’s education isn’t just for those looking to get their license!

Speaking of driver’s education, a defensive driving course would be an excellent idea for you (and, frankly, for most of us!). Completing a defensive driving course will make you a safer driver (statistics prove it), and will give you some other nice bonuses–such as a discount on your car insurance.

Driving safely is a bit tougher than many of us might think, but your willingness to learn means you’re already on the right track. And if your friend is as open to improving his driving as you are, you may have some company on your journey to safer behavior on the road. Good luck–you’re making an excellent decision by choosing to take your friends’ criticisms seriously.

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.” — Dave Barry

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