Road safety is the shared responsibility of all drivers, but the unfortunate fact is that some people set a better example than others. As part of your commitment to be a safer driver, it’s important to learn to recognize potentially dangerous habits in others. That way, you are better prepared to react properly when you encounter bad drivers on the road.
Types of Bad Drivers and How to Deal with Them
Interestingly, bad drivers seem to have distinct “personalities.” Common types of bad drivers have common profiles, and there are smart ways to react if you encounter them:
- Nervous drivers. These drivers don’t have the confidence to keep up with traffic at highway speeds, and can cause dangerous congestion as everyone else has to slow down to accommodate them. Be patient and pass when you are able, but don’t take risks in order to do so.
- Road hogs. The “road hog” seems to think that they are the only person with any right to be on the road, and they will drive very aggressively to force others out of their way. Don’t play along with their game by challenging them; just let them pass you.
- Distracted drivers. Even though the dangers of distracted driving have been proven through research, the message still isn’t getting through to some people. You’ll spot these drivers checking their makeup, composing text messages, or looking around in the back seat instead of watching the road. Exercise extra caution when you come in close proximity with these drivers, since they’re likely not to notice you’re there. You’ll have to be proactive about being defensive; keep your distance and don’t put yourself in a position where your safety relies on their timely reaction.
- Sunday drivers. Some people seem perfectly happy to cruise along at a frustrating speed, even though they’re perfectly well aware that they’re holding up the flow of traffic by coasting below the speed limit. As with nervous drivers, stay calm when you encounter one of these drivers and look for an opportunity to pass safely.
Calgary Car Insurance: Lead by Example with Good Driving Habits
Being a better driver is easy if you’re willing to apply some simple principles every time you get behind the wheel. While everyone is guilty of bad driving habits from time to time, you can eliminate these behaviours by conscientiously applying better driving techniques.
Here are some important characteristics that all good drivers share:
- Adjusting speed for conditions. Sure, the posted speed limit might be 100 km/h, but if you’re driving on an icy road or in blowing snow, you should reduce your speed as much as necessary to safely react to anything that might happen.
- Active scanning. Good drivers are always aware of what’s happening around them. Get in the habit of actively scanning the road at all times; take note of cars merging into highway traffic, watch for drivers making turns and lane changes, and anticipate hazards before you reach them.
- Eliminate distractions. You can’t drive well if you’re distracted, or if your attention is divided. When you’re behind the wheel, safety should be your only priority. Concentrate on the road at all times. Remember: it only takes a split second for an accident to happen.
- Follow at a safe distance. Always leave a safe following distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you; road safety experts recommend allowing for at least two car lengths between vehicles sharing a lane.
- Don’t get drawn into dangerous games. If you encounter an aggressive or otherwise frustrating driver, don’t lose your cool, and don’t get sucked into their dangerous game. Simply maintain your good habits and proceed as usual.
If you apply these tips at all times, you’ll reduce your risk of accidents and keep your Calgary car insurance premiums down.
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