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Bad Habits Behind The Wheel

Bad Habits Behind The Wheel

By Swansway Motor Group 14-02-2018

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After you've passed your driving test do you stick to the HIghway Code or do bad habits creep in? If.so what are your driving bad habits

Are you a great driver or do you have some of these bad habits?

So, you think you’re a great driver; you’ve been driving for years, never had an accident, but does that mean that you’re a good driver, or just that you’ve been lucky?


The Highway Code, once we’ve passed out driving test I defy anyone to say they give this book a second glance; learning it’s rules is a means to an end, but how much of it sticks in our brains and how much is forgotten?

Driving Instructors painstakingly teach us the correct way to drive, but once we’ve passed and we’ve a few years ‘real’ driving under our belts, many of us think we know better and that our way is far superior to the way we were taught.

What are the most common bad habits of experienced drivers an why should we be brushing up on our Highway Code and remembering our ‘L’ plate lessons.

We’re betting that almost everyone reading this crosses their hands when manoeuvring their car, instead of feeding the wheel…yes you there and you! And there are plenty more bad habits which can lead to very unfortunate consequences; so, why not let us know what your worst habit is behind the wheel.

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Being Unfocused

Unfocused, distracted, call it what you will, but we are guilty of this and it can be for any number of reasons; you’re chattering away on your phone – hands-free or not, the kids are fighting in the backseat, your favourite tune’s just come on the radio, your partner is nagging you, you’ve just heard your ‘whats app’ ping, a txt has come through, you can’t get your Sat Nav to work; the list is endless.

As soon as you allow yourself to be distracted you’re putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk. Taking your eye off the road, even for a second can have fatal consequences.

When you’re driving nothing is as important as controlling your car; let the kids fight, ignore your phone, stop if you need to sort out your Sat Nav, turn your music volume down, resist the urge to multi-task in the car, it doesn’t work and someone could pay for it with their life.

 Using your phone whilst driving

Mirror, Mirror

When you’re learning to drive the mantra of ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ is drummed into you and for good reason, checking your mirrors rear side, gives you an all-round view of the traffic around you, any cyclists or pedestrians, trucks or motorbikes. The mantra ensures you check what’s happening around you before your make a manoeuvre.

Unfortunately, once we’ve got used to the road, the attention to our mirrors often goes; this is dangerous not just for passing cyclists who can find a door flung open in their path if we’ve not checked our mirrors, but for us and our passengers.

The mirrors are there to give us as good a view of what’s going around us, so, use them.

Cars seen through a wing mirror

Merry Go Round

Roundabouts, especially large ones, can be tricky and it doesn’t help that many of us think indicating when we are going to exit them isn’t necessary. It is! Other drivers need to know your intentions, don’t think that just because you know where you’re going, other road users should somehow know too.

Roundabout rules are clear, if you’re exit is past ’12 o’clock’ then indicate right, to show other road user that you’re staying on the roundabout; then, indicate left to signal your intention to exit the roundabout.

Some of us do one of these, but not the other, some of us do neither; follow the rules, help other road users and most importantly avoid being in or causing an accident.

How to use a roundabout correctly

Representation of a UK roundabout- originally created by Mintguy, prettified by Fredrik. File history English Wikipedia 20:53, 12 June 2004


Hogging The Middle Lane

Some of us find motorway driving stressful, after all it hasn’t been part of the driving test and so most of us have learnt ‘on the job’. Staying in the middle lane can seem like the easy option, avoiding the need for lane-changing and allowing you to sit tight, driving at you speed and letting the rest of the drivers do all the work.

When the motorway’s busy middle lane hogging causes congestion as drivers can’t decide how to get past you, if you simply moved over to the inside lane two lanes of traffic could get passed you, as it is the traffic is piling up behind you.

Frustration can make people undertake you on the inside lane, dangerous for them and for you. It’s a very selfish way to drive on a motorway and causes problems for everyone else on the road, you should always keep to the inside lane, unless you want to overtake, in which case you move out.

Busy motorway


Lounging At The Wheel

Whilst you need to be comfortable when you’re driving, you don’t need to slumped as if you’re watching a boxset on Netflix. Having your seat too far away from the pedals and wheel, or the back to far reclined, may feel like a chilled way to drive, but it causes you to have a lack of control over your car and will cause you delayed reaction times should a sudden problem occur on the road.

You don’t need to drive with your knees up round your ears, but you do need to have your seat in a position where your feet are not stretching to reach the pedals and your arms aren’t locked rigid trying to reach the wheel.

It’s tempting, particularly on a long motorway drive to allow yourself to adopt a slumped, driving position; it may well feel nice and chilled, but you won’t be in the best position to deal with any upcoming hazards. Set your seat up right, adjust the height of your steering wheel (if possible) and make your position comfortable, but alert.


Drive Safely Everyone!

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