The reason why no ‘World’s Best Driver’ badge exists is because we’re still looking for the driver who drives well ALL THE TIME.
You might pride yourself on your spectacular rule-abiding logic, but in truth, you’re never that conforming every single time. Many times, mistakes are done not because of lack of skill, but result as a circumstance of frustration, vulnerability or neglect. Watch out for these driving mistakes and make sure they never happen again – it might save your life and that of others.
Changing Lanes Abruptly
It happens to all of us – one moment we’re on one side, in a split second, we remember we need to switch direction. Switching lanes without checking your surroundings can be fatal. Chances are, there are other cars and motorcycles driving on the road behind you.
Prepare them for your next action, even if they are a few metres back. Gauging their speed level is ambitious. Don’t make it difficult for them to slow down to allow you access to their side. Keeping an eye for motorcycles – you might not see them driving close by.
Keeping Your Indicators Idle
Speaking about changing lanes… it comes hand-in-hand with those car accessories we call indicators. They are there for a reason and should not be used just when we feel like it. Other drivers do not know what you’re about to do next, so consider those flashing lights as your warning sign to other commuters.
Getting Distracted At The Traffic Lights
Don’t be tempted to zoom out whilst waiting for the light to turn to green. In Malta, traffic lights are just like roundabouts – traffic hubs. Sitting at a green light will make other drivers hit their horn to gauge your attention and you might be prompted with a quick and dangerous manoeuvre to get driving again. Being oblivious to traffic signals is a serious oversight.
Underestimating Space Between Your Vehicle and a Truck/trailer
Due to the massive size and height of trucks, manoeuvring in front of such giant vehicles needs more caution. The space in front of a truck is called the no-zone for a reason – passenger vehicles should never venture too close as it is out of the driver’s view. Better be patient and wait your time than potentially getting crushed.
Blocking The Way Ahead For Emergency Vehicles
Getting ahead by a few metres is not going to make a difference to your time. On the contrary, an extra minute might be the difference between life or death for those nurses or fire team. Think about the responsibility emergency vehicle drivers are subjected to whilst driving. Pull safely aside before the vehicle gets by an inch close to your car.
Forgetting To Check The Blind Spots
It was given that name for a reason – it is the place where the side mirror does not detect any driving activity, possibly giving you the impression that you can easily cross lanes.
Many drivers have had the shock of their life when they heard a loud thud on the horn from a nearby driver as they turn the wheel to switch lanes. While the car mirrors are definitely not there for decoration, a driver shouldn’t rely 100% on them. Turning your head for a split-second to check the blind spot can save you from a nasty crash.
Meddling With Your Phone
If you’re spotted using your phone by a policeman or road enforcement officer, you’ll easily find a hefty contravention and a few driving points deducted. Have you ever thought why such an action has such high penalty points? When you’re behind the wheel, focused on something else other than driving, you’re bound to make mistakes. And mistakes on the road cost lives. Even with all the smartphone-car integration systems available nowadays, your phone should be safely tucked in and not looked at until you’re parked well with the hand-break pulled up.
It’s not just your hands and feet that do the driving. Your head has a say too. Drive with a clear mind and award your own ‘Best Driver in the World’ badge.