We all have moments when we’re driving when we get annoyed with other road users, but have you ever considered the impact of your own driving habits? If you drive regularly for work, it’s likely that your driving, and observational skills will be slightly sharper than if you just drive casually or commute to and from work. So, it’s important for free-flowing traffic and harmony on the highway to be cognisant of your own driving habits and behaviour and to be mindful of the impact your driving can have on others.
1. Driving at night
Some people find driving at night particularly onerous and tend to avoid it if possible. So, it’s important to be aware of how night time driving can cause stress for some drivers and drive with consideration. This applies to the use of your lights and the distance you keep from other drivers. There is nothing worse than someone who is tailgating you on a country road or who inconsiderately and inappropriately uses fog lights or full beam when driving on winding roads.
2. Take account of current road conditions
Road conditions can be hazardous in winter and it’s sometimes difficult to see clearly ahead. Make sure that you leave plenty of distance between yourself and other cars and don’t use full beam unless you have the road to yourself.
If you wish to overtake and, it is safe to do so, then indicate and make your move safely. However, if you aren’t safe to overtake tailgating the car in front is not going to enable you to go any faster. It can in fact be counterproductive and cause the driver in front to become more cautious simply because they are blinded by your headlamps.
3. Use of roundabouts
Roundabouts are an excellent way of keeping traffic moving when used properly. Many drivers fear roundabouts particularly ones with many exits because they are unsure how to use them properly. When approaching the roundabout, it is important to be aware of the exit you wish to take. If you are unsure of the road directions take your time and go around the roundabout a second time if you feel that you need more time.
4. Approaching the roundabout
When you approach the roundabout, you should take note of traffic lights, road markings and road signs. A roundabout should be considered like a clock. If you are taking an exit between 6 until 12, in other words the first half of the roundabout closes to you, you should approach in the left hand outer lane, so you can exit easily and safely.
5. Always give way to traffic to the right when on a roundabout when driving on the left
Always ensure that on approaching the roundabout you give way to traffic from your right and never ever change between lanes without signalling and ensuring it is safe to do so. Some roundabouts have pedestrian crossings and traffic lights and you need to take particular care at these to ensure that pedestrians are given right of way and sufficient time to cross safely. For a handy visual demonstration of how to drive correctly on a roundabout, visit AXA.ie.
6. Drive with consideration
For safe driving, make sure you drive with consideration and drive defensively to avoid an accident and ensure that all road users feel safe. The greater the care and consideration you show on the road, the safer all road users will feel and you’ll help to promote safer roads for all.
Happy and safe motoring!