There are more cars today on the road than there ever was in the history of humanity and unlike any other skill, driving is something that has only been around for a relatively short period of time. Cars today are not only the most complicated machines we use every day, but also among the most technologically advanced. Mastering driving is not a simple task as it involves more than one skill and all of them need to be fine-tuned. Your senses like eyesight, your special awareness, your motor skills all have to work together just to take your car off the parking lot and on to the road.
The objective of this passage however is not to demonize driving. In contrast, it is to help you drive a little better and to make the ordeal a little easier. Here are a few driver hacks that you may not have heard of.
Set your rear-view mirrors
Do a quick check and see what you can look at through the rear view mirrors on either side of the car, from where you are seated. Can you see parts of, or the entire side of your own car? Well, you shouldn’t. Make sure you set the mirrors in such a way that no part, except maybe the tip of the tail is seen on your rear view mirrors, this gives you maximum visibility and you can avoid trucks and other cars sneaking up on you.
Traffic is more important than road signs and signals
Think of all those videos you have seen of traffic accidents, and almost every one of those compilations are sure to have at least one instance of a T bone crash, and they are quite common. A good number of these accidents could have also been easily avoided if only the drivers were more aware of the road and traffic. The point here is that, traffic signals are meant to regulate traffic and not prevent accidents from happening. That is entirely up to you, the driver.
Watch what kind of music you play
A study on the effects of driving on music turned up interesting finds. Those who had music playing responded well to sudden crossings, like animals and their heart rate did not spike wildly in reaction. Another find in the study was that those who were listening to fast paced techno, dance like music were incredibly rash. The music you tune into pretty much dictates your state of mind while driving. So music will keep you calm only as long as you listen to calming music.
Never brake in a blowout
What is the first thing you think you should do when you find that one of your tires has blown out? Brake hard right? You could not be more wrong. If you are in a highway at high speeds and your tire blows out, never hit the brakes. Just let the car slow down to a reasonable speed and then slowly brake, bringing the car to a slow gradual halt. When there is a blowout, tires lose traction, so if you try to brake hard, best case, the tire may come off the wheel; worst case, the car fish tails out of control and flips over. So do not panic when something goes wrong and stay calm and let the car slow down by itself.
The above pointers are meant to be taken as additional information and not intended to be taken as driving lessons. Above and beyond all hacks and tricks, the most important thing to know and remember is that you should be kind and courteous on the road. You cannot drive well or safely if you get angry, so keep that in check as well.