Coffee Break

How to Become a Safer Driver

Driving has become an essential part of everyday life and most people use a car to get to their place of work, to run errands and to visit family and friends. A car gives you the freedom to travel, but driving doesn’t come without its risks and many of car accidents occur every day, resulting in some fatalities.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the road and become a more skilled and confident driver.

Drive within the speed limits

Speed limits are in place to ensure the safety of road users, and speeding increases your risk of losing control of your vehicle and causing an accident. Keep in mind that speed limits apply to ideal road conditions and you should always lower your speed in poor weather conditions such as rain, ice or fog.

Driving at a slower speed will make you a safer driver and will minimize your chances of being involved in a road accident. Reducing your speed can also save you money on fuel and slash your insurance costs. For instance, Root Insurance offers cheaper insurance to people who can demonstrate that they are safe and responsible drivers.

Maintain a safe stopping distance

Rear-end collisions are the most common type of road accident and many could be prevented by leaving a larger stopping distance between vehicles. Increasing the distance between you and the vehicle in front will give you more time to spot a hazard and respond safely without causing an accident.

You should always follow the three-second rule, but this should be increased to nine seconds or more if weather conditions are poor e.g. heavy rain or ice. You must give yourself sufficient space to perform an emergency stop if the vehicle ahead brakes suddenly, for whatever reason.

Eliminate distractions when driving

Taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds can cause a serious accident and so you must stay focused and concentrate on your driving. Remove any distractions that could divert your attention from driving. If you are using a sat-nav, then programme this before you leave and avoid touching your radio or phone while driving.

The National Safety Council estimates that around 1.6 million accidents a year are caused by cell phone use while driving and 25% of collisions in the United States are caused by texting and driving. If you need to check your phone or make a call, then pull over to a safe location and never use your phone while driving.

Take a driving improvement course

Taking a driving improvement course can sharpen your driving skills and help you feel more confident on the road. The course will teach you defensive driver techniques and give you basic maintenance tips to ensure your vehicle is safe before you drive.

Completing a driving improvement course will make you a safer driver and it may also reduce your auto insurance costs. You can learn more about the course by visiting