Most parents today spend a goodly portion of time on the road. Whether it’s the commute to and from work, dropping the kids off or picking them up from school or simply running the various errands that make up adult life (it’s really not as much fun as Friends made it look is it), few of us think twice before hopping in our trusty vehicle and taking to the road. Most of us would say that we’re pretty good drivers and very few of us would ever admit to being unsafe, especially when our kids are aboard. Yet, whether we know it or not, over time we can develop bad habits that may seem perfectly innocuous but can actually be downright dangerous if we don’t take steps to mend them. Of course, this post isn’t intended to judge or rebuke anyone. It’s simply intended to help us all reflect upon our driving styles and ensure that they’re as safe and effective as possible for our own well being, our families’ and that of our fellow road users…
Pounding coffee on long haul journeys
The ubiquitous presence of Costas and Starbucks’ at service stations coupled with the proliferation of drive thru coffee outlets has made it easier than ever for us to catch a quick cuppa on the road. But if you’re pounding coffee after coffee on long haul journeys, it might not be making you as alert and responsive as you may think. A double shot skinny latte might make you feel more awake and alert but it’s actually a deceptive illusion. Caffeine metabolizes pretty quickly, and blocks your receptors for the neurotransmitter adenosine. As the adenosine builds up, your fatigue increases making you feel increasingly sluggish as you lurch from one caffeine hit to the next. When you chug that espresso shot, it also also gives you an extra hit of adrenaline, which can increase your blood pressure and result in anxiety and paranoia that cause you to drive erratically. Make sure you drink plenty of water if you want to stay alert and responsive on the road.
Racing to overtake trucks and lorries
We’re all conditioned to drive aggressively when we encounter an HGV. We know that their size, weight and relatively slow speeds may encumber our journeys and so we get into the habit of trying to race past them. However, this can be extremely hazardous. HGV drivers drive for long hours in order to keep to their schedules and may find themselves succumbing to driver fatigue which can cause them to make dangerous mistakes on the road. If said mistakes are the driver’s fault you may be able to win compensation through a truck accident lawyer; click here to visit website. If, however, an incident is caused by your aggressive driving and their inability to react to you in time, the blame will lie with you.
Incorrect hand positioning
Finally, we’ve all been taught that we should keep our hands at the “ten to two” position on the steering wheel, but this has since been revealed to be a bad habit that doesn’t give us the traction on the steering wheel we may assume. It turns out that positioning your hands slightly lower at nine and three or even four and eight gives you better control over the wheel.
Each of us has our own driving style, but nobody can afford to dismiss the possibility that maybe they could take steps to make their driving safer!