Bad driving habits left unchecked will eventually turn us into bad drivers.
Here are five bad practices that not only hamper our driving abilities, but make us unsafe motorists, too.
Fortunately, these bad habits are fairly easy to correct.
1) Sitting too near or too far from the steering wheel and pedals.
Many of us have seen people sitting so close to the steering wheel that they were hugging it.
On the other hand, we see just as many drivers sitting so far from the steering wheel that we wonder how they manage to turn it.
Sitting too near the steering wheel means there’s no buffer in case of an accident.
If the airbag deploys, it’s literally going to explode in your face.
If there’s no airbag, that could mean crushing your chest against the steering wheel.
Now, if you’re too far from the wheel, you won’t be able to steer to avoid obstacles in an emergency.
And if you’re too far from the pedals, you won’t be able to exert enough force on the brake pedal if you need to emergency brake.
Remember to adopt the correct driving position. Sit upright with your arms bent at an angle when you grip the steering wheel.
Make sure your legs are bent enough so that when you have to e-brake, you can apply more force from your leg muscles, and not your foot.
2) Driving with just one hand.
This is another bad driving habit that usually complements the poor driving position.
You cannot steer your vehicle quickly enough to avoid an obstacle (or another vehicle) with one hand.
Two hands on the wheel are better than one.
And while we’re at it, remember to keep your hands at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions.
The 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions work just as well, too.
Avoid the 12 o’clock position. If the airbag deploys in an accident, you’ll be punching yourself in the nose so hard that you might break it.
3) Driving when you’re tired.
Drinking and driving isn’t just a bad driving habit. It’s awful.
But driving when you’re exhausted or under the influence of medication that makes you drowsy is just as bad.
If you’re so tired that your eyes keep closing, you need to either get some sleep or take a cab home.
Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel usually end up hurting others in a bad crash.
4) Not learning basic skills, such as how to change a flat tyre.
Every driver should know how to change a flat tyre. Not knowing how to is a bad driving habit.
Yes, you could call for roadside assistance, but that could take up to an hour.
Let’s not forget the 20 minutes it might take for them to change your tyre.
If you learn how, you can get the same task done in 20 minutes and be on your way.
Those who don’t wanna get their hands too dirty can either invest in run-flat tyres or a puncture repair kit.
5) Driving barefoot or with slippers/flip-flops.
Sure, you can drive a car barefoot or in a pair of flip-flops.
But when you need to e-brake, the lack of proper footwear can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Flip-flops are soft and can easily get bent and jammed against the floor mat, preventing you from moving your foot.
If you drive barefoot, it will take more effort to e-brake than if you were wearing a pair of moccasins or sneakers.