What type of driver are you? Of course, we’re all great drivers, aren’t we? Just ask any of your friends and see what they say. Having said that, 85% of crashes are due to human error. So I guess we all aren’t great drivers after all. How many people do you know who’ve taken any form of driver training after they got their driver’s license? Do you practice driving every time you drive? I was a judge on Canada’s Worst Driver Season 1, so I was witness to some wonderful scary driving by people who thought they were good drivers.
Being a good driver is a skill like any other, and yet we don’t treat it that way, since we do it every day; day after day. Often times when we get in the car we are thinking about everything else we need to do that day when we get to work or when we get home. So what kind of driver are you? Are you an aggressive driver who thinks it’s all about you and god forbid someone try and pull in front of you! Are you a timid driver who is afraid to go over 90km/hour even on the highway or are you a distracted driver who thinks they can eat, drink a pop and manage a 4000lb missile?
The aggressive driver changes lanes whenever they think the other lane is going quicker, thinking they are going to get to their destination faster. Changing lanes is one of the most dangerous things you do while driving and it doesn’t get you to your destination substantially quicker. Being an aggressive driver only increases your stress level when you are driving and wears you out. When I drive, I try to go to my “happy” place. Usually when someone aggravates me I try to get away from them by speeding up or slowing down or I think to myself “are their actions going to impact me in twenty minutes”?
The timid driver can be just as dangerous as the aggressive driver, since they are driving substantially slower than the rest of the traffic. Or they could be driving in the fast lane doing the speed limit exactly, and won’t move over when faster cars are behind them. This is equally as bad since it is forcing other drivers to maneuver around them. Some drivers are absolutely oblivious to what is going on around them and this is a scary thought.
Then, there is the distracted driver. Some of the crazy things I’ve seen while driving are: women applying mascara, men shaving and people reading the newspaper. I’ve also seen mothers reaching back to pacify their screaming child while driving. Have you done any of these things? You are in control of a vehicle that weighs anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 lbs, so paying attention to what you are doing is kind of important! Driving is the most dangerous thing you do on a daily basis, and distracted driving actually is causing more accidents now then drinking and driving.
I suggest you use my philosophy and go to your “happy” place while you’re driving and enjoy the time behind the wheel. Albeit, it is difficult to do when you are driving in rush hour traffic.
Race car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website www.KellysGarage.ca
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