Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 5 min

How to be a good driver?

A good driver is not born, but made. How to drive well, safely and cool? There are many factors that prevent you from being a great driver.

Even if you pass your driving test on the fly and never talk on the phone while driving, there are many other, completely unexpected factors that determine how dangerous your participation in traffic will be.

How to be a good driver?

1. Singing

Music for the driver is a very important thing. Almost every car has at least a radio. However, listening to music is far from the last reason why accidents happen. People listening to the radio are distracted from what is happening on the road much more often.

Even the genre of the piece of music plays a role: fast songs like techno double the risk of missing a red light, for example. But the biggest risk with music is when you hum your favorite tune. Even if you know the song by heart, your brain is still busy remembering the music and the words. The load on the gray matter increases and your reaction to a dangerous situation will not be as fast.

2. Colds

The dependence of the quality of driving on the physical well-being of the driver is obvious. If you do not get enough sleep, if you suffer from chronic pain or a serious illness, your reaction will naturally be slow. However, it turns out that in order for the danger on the road to increase significantly, even a small cold is enough.

Participants in one of the scientific studies were tested on a simulator-simulator for drivers. It turned out that people with a small cold are much more easily distracted while driving, react more slowly to unforeseen situations, and it is more difficult for them to maintain a safe distance from other cars.

3. Driving on the same route

Overconfidence is one of the biggest dangers on the road. When you perform the same tasks over and over again, the brain stops so much to strain and follow the road, that is, you are almost on “autopilot”. Therefore, if something unexpected comes your way (a child runs out or a dog barks), you are more likely to do something stupid and get into an accident.

4. Billboards

The task of roadside advertising is to attract your attention by all means. Without realizing it, you increase or decrease the speed, depending on how it makes you feel. One study found that advertisements related to money, fame or sex encourage the driver to step on the gas. If the advertisement evokes negative emotions, contains reminders of war, cruelty, prisons, then drivers tend to slow down.

5. Sign of the Zodiac

Insurance companies don't take into account the sign you were born under when they decide to pay out insurance, and apparently in vain. During one study, it turned out that Libra gets into accidents more often than other signs. They are followed by Aquarius and Aries. However, Pisces is most often fined. The twins turned out to be the most virtuoso drivers - the least number of accidents and fines.

6. Road signs

When a large part of the road signs were removed from the roads of a small Dutch town, the number of accidents dropped sharply. Sounds like a paradox, but that's how it was. Apparently, when the driver is surrounded by signs everywhere telling him where to go, he pays less attention to what is happening on the road itself. In addition, signs make us feel more secure, which leads to dangerous complacency. And if there are not so many signs, we concentrate more on what we are doing and the likelihood of a collision with another car is reduced.

7. Children in the car

In March, a team of researchers from Australia published the results of their work, according to which the most distracting factor while driving is the presence of small children in the car (distracting 12 times more than talking on a mobile phone). During a 16-minute ride, parents are distracted from the road by an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds. Many turn the rearview mirror so that they can see their offspring, not the road.

8. Daydreaming

If you are driving alone on a deserted road where there are no advertisements, you do not talk on your mobile and do not listen to the radio, you still have a chance crash into something. This is because you can't turn off your brain, which needs something to keep itself busy. The researchers interviewed 65,000 accident culprits and were surprised at how many people answered that they were just daydreaming. Even if you try your best to put 100 percent of your attention on the road, most likely sooner or later your thoughts will "float away" unnoticed by you. It is possible that you wake up somewhere on the side of the road and do not even remember how you got there.