New Year’s Resolution
Many people decide that a New Year means another try at passing the Driving Test, but how do they achieve their goal?
- Put it all on paper. Write your driving test goals down and keep them in an accessible place as reminders – tape them to your mirror or put them on the refrigerator door.
- Mark your calendar. Set deadlines for yourself to tackle each step to reaching your goal, one at a time. Do you need to take the theory test? Does your current theory test certificate run out soon. ( they only last for 2 years so if you have not passed your test before that time, you have to sit and pass the theory test again).
- Start your driving lessons as soon as possible. Contact Oakworth School of Motoring to book lessons to help you to learn how to drive.
You may think you’re an excellent driver with little room for improvement. But there’s never any harm in striving to be better. Here’s 10 New Year’s resolutions drivers should consider making in 2018…
Protect your licence
You may have some penalty points already, or maybe you have a clean licence, but why not make 2018 the year where you acquire no additional points. The obvious ways to do this are…
- Drive under the speed limit
- Concentrate – never use your mobile phone
- Always wear your seatbelt
Be on time
All road etiquette is thrown out of the window when you’re late for an appointment. Evidence suggests that you’re more likely to speed, less likely to pay attention and become a far less patient driver if you’re running late. For the year ahead, make a concerted effort to be a few minutes early, rather than bang on time, which will give you a buffer if you hit unexpected traffic.
Make a driving bucket list
Your car isn’t just a contraption that gets you to work, takes the kids to school or helps you get shopping home from the supermarket – it’s also a great way to explore. Make a list of places you’d like to see and start ticking them off in 2018.
Plan a road trip and discover the country you live in; be it a weekend on the coast or a break in the Scottish Highlands. Include nearby cities, towns and landscapes that you can do in one day.
Be a calmer driver
It’s easy to feel annoyed when another driver has cut in, driving too close or slams on the breaks in front of you for no apparent reason. But angry actions can cause a distraction which can lead to an accident. Instead of shouting, hand gestures and swearing, reduce your feelings of road rage by:
- Assuming the other driver is late for a valid reason – by putting yourself in the driver’s shoes you may feel more understanding and less annoyed
- Staying out of their way – you’re not in a competition; change lanes and let erratic or inconsiderate drivers pass you by
- Loosening your grip on the wheel
Turn off your phone
Your mobile pinging, ringing and vibrating every few minutes is a guaranteed interference when you’re behind the wheel. As well as the obvious safety repercussions of driving while distracted, it can also land you with a £200 fine and six penalty points.
Apple has introduced a Do Not Disturb feature while driving, but whatever phone you have, take away the distraction by turning it off altogether.
Look after your vehicle
Nobody wants to drive an old shed that could kick the bucket any minute. Keeping your vehicle in good condition is a good way to enjoy peace of mind when on the roads. Not only will your car be safer to drive, it should also be less likely to develop faults, more economical and better for the environment. Try…
- Checking your oil level – top it up every 5,000 to 7,500 miles
- Keeping your washer fluid topped up
- Checking your lights all work
- Replacing your brake pads every 25,000 miles
How important is it that you make it through the traffic lights before they turn red? If a lane needs to merge, is it essential for you to be one car in front? These small things that hold little-to-no importance will just increase your anxiety. Make 2018 the year you let these things go and be a more relaxed, patient and happier driver.
Get your eyes tested
You might not even realise if your eyesight starts to deteriorate. According to road safety charity Brake, with people losing up to 40% of their vision before becoming aware of it. Err on the side of caution and get your eyes tested at least once every two years.
Get tyre safe
If your tyres are not safe then you are putting yourself in danger of skidding, sliding and losing control. Poor tyre pressure or ineffective tread increases your required stopping distances and gives you less grip on the road.
Check your tyre pressure and make sure they’re not under or over inflated, and make sure your tread is above the legal limit (1.6mm).
Cut fuel costs
With the rising cost of petrol and diesel, filling your tank each time can make you wince. But just because you’re reliant on fuel, doesn’t mean you can’t be more economical. Try…
- Not carrying unnecessary weight
- Checking your tyre pressure
- Driving below the speed limit