For most Americans, driving is an everyday experience. Whether it’s to the office, the grocery store, or to a friend’s house, we use our cars to get all over the place. But just because it’s a common occurrence doesn’t mean that good driving skills are all that common. Driving skills, just like every other set of skills, are perishable, even if we drive every day. To be a better driver, you have to be constantly assessing your driving and being aware of where you could improve. 

Here are at Pacific Driver Education, we help teens and adults alike develop and refine their driving skills, preparing them for their driving tests in Gresham. We cover a lot of ground in our driving lessons, but we don’t always cover everything. Here are a few simple tips to be a better driver.

Don’t Forget to Look Ahead

It’s not uncommon for drivers to get fixated on just a few things when they drive. More often than not, it’s the road about 15 feet in front of them. But you should also be paying attention to what’s on the road ahead of you. By looking into the distance, you’ll spot slowing traffic, speed traps, construction, and more. It also gives you more time to react to whatever is in front of you.  

Along with looking ahead, don’t forget to look through turns and curves. You’ll naturally move your body to where you’re looking. By extent, you’ll maneuver your vehicle that way. Always focus on where you want to go; your body is tuned to follow your eyes. 

Adjust Your Mirrors Correctly

Many drivers on the road aren’t adjusting their mirrors correctly, and as a result, are putting the drivers around them at risk. You shouldn’t be able to see any of your car in your mirrors. If you can, you’re operating within the blind spots of your vehicle. Instead, you should only be able to see your car when you tilt your head. Your mirrors should reflect as much of the lane behind you as possible. Your rear-view mirror should be adjusted so that the rear window is centered. 

Not only should you be setting up your mirrors correctly, but you should be using them frequently. Experts suggest that you should glance at your mirrors about every five to ten seconds in order to stay aware of what’s happening around you. You might need to check your mirrors more if you’re in heavy traffic or about to change lanes. 

Say Goodbye to Distractions

We all love our cell phones. In many cases, they’re our near-constant companions. But when it’s time to drive, it’s time to put your phone away. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and can put you and those around you at risk of an accident. Of course, distracted driving isn’t just caused by cell phones, it can be caused by any number of things. Taking a swig of your soda, chowing down on a sandwich, fiddling with the radio, or even just getting lost in a conversation can all keep your mind from focusing on the road. 

Don’t Drive Sleepy

Look, we could all use some more sleep every night, but there’s never a reason to drive while you’re sleepy. When you’re tired, your reactions and judgments are slowed, which can lead to major problems. In some cases, your brain might start going into periods of micro-sleep, where it loses focus. When this happens often enough, you may just fall asleep behind the wheel. 

If you’re struggling to stay awake, the best thing to do is to just pull over somewhere safe and take a break. Remember, getting to your destination late is a far better option than ending up in an accident.

Make Sure You’re Holding Your Steering Wheel Properly

For decades, the common thinking behind where to position your hands on the wheel has been at 10 and 2. But in recent years, these guidelines have changed. Instead, you’re supposed to keep your hands at lower positions. Most driving instructors now recommend that you keep your hands in the 9 and 3 positions, or 8 and 4. Not only is this a more ergonomic way to hold onto the wheel, but it also offers you greater control and stability in manipulating the wheel. 

Affordable and Effective Driving Lessons in Gresham

Becoming a great driver is easy when you’ve got the right training. Here at Pacific Driver Education, we offer a number of classes and courses that are designed to teach drivers of all ages, skill levels, and occupations, how to be safer on the road. 

Check out our suite of classes for teens, adults, and fleet drivers, as well as our DMV test option. If you have questions about our courses, feel free to contact us today.