Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


All-Too-Common Pitfalls for Skilled Drivers - Vol.29

The pitfalls that skilled drivers fall into result from their own confidence in their ability to maneuver the car without paying too much attention to it. But, the truth of the matter is that driving skill is not the only requirement for negotiating busy roads safely. Unusual and unpredictable things happen on the road. Drivers have to keep an alert eye for such freak happenings. Because of this, no matter how familiar they are with the terrain, the traffic and the people in an area, they should always make each time they pass through the first time.

Among some of the activities that the skilled driver may engage in while driving is sending text messages or making cell phone calls. A good driver should make sure that before turning the car's ignition on, he will have placed all the calls he needed to make and sent the text messages he needed to send. After that, it might be a good thing to switch off the cell phone while driving or put it in hands-free mode. Along this line, people should be aware that in some states it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving.

Some drivers like to listen to loud music. This is very distracting and unsafe, especially if they are driving a sealed off, air-conditioned car. The music will prevent them from hearing the warning honks of vehicles behind them.

Driving while drunk or sleepy is another pitfall that experienced drivers fall into. In both cases, the reflexes of the driver are slower and in both cases, the risk of falling asleep on the wheel with the car going at a fast pace, is great. It is recommended that you never get into your car to drive if you are either drunk or sleepy. If while on the middle of a trip you suddenly feel drowsy, you need to pull over to the side, lock your doors and take a nap.

Often too, skilled drivers make the mistake of overtaking other vehicles, even in tight places. Even if, most of the time, they are able to negotiate getting out of lane and quickly back in again without difficulty, it takes only one failed instance to get into a crippling smash-up caused by backfired fancy maneuvers.

Exceeding the speed limit is another pitfall, some skilled drivers fall into. Because these people have been driving most of their lives, they try and get off the road as quickly as possible by reaching their destinations fast.

Skilled drivers also tend to be aggressive rather than defensive drivers. This is because they feel comfortable with the car and it is almost an extension of their bodies. We all know that aggressive driving or trying to do it better than everyone else on the road usually leads to smash-ups and collisions.

Another thing skilled drivers usually omit is to put on their safety belts. Most people fail to realize the importance of safety belts until they didn't use it when they needed to. Although these belts may be slightly restrictive to movement, they are very important for safety. If you don't like the way the safety belt is hugging your body, then by all means have another one installed in place of it. But don't neglect to use it.

Often, skilled drivers think everyone else is as skilled as they are. This is an assumption that is dangerous, especially on fast lanes. It isn't a good idea to test the driving abilities of other people or gauge their courtesy on the road. They may not be willing or able to give you the leeway you need to, for instance, switch lanes. As mentioned, defensive driving is the best kind of driving. Assume that everyone else will be unwilling to accommodate you on your fancy maneuvers. If you keep to your place, you will get where you are headed in a shorter time than if you get involved in an accident.