Top Ten Driving Tips

We all know people who need a few driving tips.

We all know people who need a few driving tips. I, for starters, know someone who thinks crashing is simply 'one of those things'. Okay, but three times in two years? His Astra spends more time parked in ditches than at supermarkets. Another motorist in my life cannot park - despite passing his test when Henry Ford was a young man. As such, these chaps and many others should read the Institute of Advanced Motorists top ten driving tips:

- Read the road: the further ahead you look, the more time you have to recognise and respond to hazards. Always be able to stop your vehicle in the distance you can see to be clear.

- Anticipate: having looked further ahead use that knowledge to anticipate the problems that might come up and plan for them well in advance to avoid needing to take last minute action.

- Use the two second rule: spot a marker ahead, such as a bridge or a lamppost and wait until the vehicle ahead of you goes past it. Then say to yourself “only a fool breaks the two second rule”. If you are at the marker before you have finished, you are too close. Double it if the road is wet.

- Concentrate: at 70 mph your stopping distance is the length of a football pitch. Looking away at a crucial moment can be fatal.

- Assume the worst: never assume that another motorist has seen you or will react as you expect – and don’t rely on somebody else’s reactions to keep you safe.

- Look behind – and to the side: use mirrors regularly so you have a 360 degree understanding of what’s going on around you. Use shoulder checks before you move out to solve blind spot problems.

- Manage your personal space: if you keep space around your vehicle, you’ll have more time and room to deal with hazards.

- Stay fresh: driver fatigue is a major factor in many crashes. Take at least a 15 minute break after two hours at the wheel.

- No sudden movements: if you have scanned all around you and used that information to predict what may happen, you should never be surprised by another vehicle’s movements.

- Learn from your mistakes: near misses happen to everybody. Afterwards, think how you could have avoided getting into that situation, even if you think it was the other driver’s fault.