Safe Driving Techniques and Skills

Becoming a safe and responsible driver takes both knowledge of the road and driving experience. In this article we will go over various safe driving techniques and skills to help you navigate the various types of roadways you will encounter while driving.

Driving On The Highway System

Driving on the highway system is very different from driving on a city or country road. Driving on the highway is fast paced, there are multiple lanes of traffic and an array of vehicles, such as cars, trucks, tractor trailer trucks, buses and motorcycles. Learning how to drive safely on the highway is an extremely important part of driving. 

While driving on the highway you always want to maintain the posted speed limit. You always want to drive in the furthermost right lane unless you are going to pass another vehicle. 

Vehicle’s are traveling at high rates of speed on the highway so keeping a safe distance of at least three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you is important. This will allow you to be in full control of your vehicle and it will give you enough time to stop should the vehicle in front of you stop suddenly. 

Always utilize your rearview mirrors and side mirrors when driving on the interstate, especially when passing another vehicle and changing lanes. Keeping a constant eye on your rearview mirrors will also let you know what is happening around you and if any other vehicles are going to merge into your lane. 

Backing Up and One-Way Streets

Backing up a vehicle can be really tricky and it most certainly takes practice. When backing up a vehicle you always want to make sure that there is nothing in back of you prior to backing up. A great rule of thumb is to always physically walk around the vehicle prior to backing it up. When backing up you will want to drive slow and utilize your rearview and side mirrors. 

One way streets are common, especially in cities. When navigating congested areas you want to make sure that you keep an eye out for ‘One Way’ street signs. You don’t ever want to turn down a one way street the wrong way, this can easily cause a collision between vehicles. 

Navigating Hazardous Road Conditions

Understanding how to drive in various hazardous road conditions and how to handle your vehicle should you lose control is a major part of being a safe and responsible driver. 

Hydroplaning

There is always a significant risk of hydroplaning when driving on wet roads. When there is water on the road, your car’s tires hydroplane and lose contact with the surface. The tires are almost impossible to control because they are floating on top of a thin layer of water rather than gripping the road. 

It’s critical that you know exactly how to handle this circumstance. As soon as the car starts to hydroplane, release the gas pedal and let it slow down. When hydroplaning, you should never apply the brakes. Firmly hold onto the steering wheel with both hands, and as the vehicle slows down, the tires will come back into contact with the pavement.

Blown Out Tire

Don’t panic if one of your tires blows out while you’re driving. As soon as possible, release your foot from the gas pedal, put both hands on the steering wheel, and steer the car straight in the direction that it wants to take you. Avoid applying the brakes as this may cause the car to spin, roll, or lose control. After the car has slowed down, carefully pull over to the side of the road, engage the parking brake, and exit the car to inspect the damage.

Snow Covered Roads

The best course of action is to slow down significantly if you find yourself driving on snow- and ice-covered roads. Driving slowly and reaching your destination safely is much better than driving too quickly and getting into an accident.  

Skidding

If your vehicle begins to skid out of control, don’t try to steer right away; instead, shift into neutral and take your foot off the gas. The car will slow down as the wheels skid sideways, restoring traction. Steer in the desired direction as it does. After that, shift into “drive” or let go of the clutch and gradually accelerate.

Author

  • Jeff Suck

    Experienced Content Editor with expertise in digital content and SEO. With a background in English Literature, he excels in enhancing narratives and optimizing online content for diverse audiences.