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Top Tips for Staying Sharp on the Road

Number of visits: Date:2017-11-02

No matter how long or how well you drive, road complacency is your worst enemy. Here are four essential tips that will change the way you think about taking the wheel and prevent you from becoming a traffic statistic.

Exercise Your Mind

Drivers need to have quick reaction times and good judgment, as well as the ability to concentrate for long stretches. When we’re young, we often lack the kind of maturity that supports stable driving. As we age, we take things for granted in regard to our abilities and often have a million things on our minds while behind the wheel. Older drivers often have slowed reaction times and may become a little forgetful. All this begins to happen way sooner than you think.

To stay mentally fit, you should engage in new activities to challenge your thought process. Even simple noodlers like crossword puzzles or sudoku can keep your brain in shape, while sites such as Lumosity offer daily brain workouts based on progress.Everyday Health offers some simple exercises that will feed your brain and may contribute to consistently better driving.

Get Your Eyes Checked

To drive safely, you need good static visual acuity, which is your eyesight in a motionless environment, and good dynamic visual acuity, which is your ability to see moving objects well or to see well when you are moving.

Be aware of dark adaptation and resistance to glare, which is the ability of the retina to adapt quickly to a change from light to dark and vice versa. Your perception is reduced in the dark as well, so you should always drive slower under those conditions.

Here’s another crucial reason to get your eyes examined: . At about 65 miles per hour, your field of vision is reduced by more than 25 percent. For every extra six miles per hour, you must be approximately 12 feet closer to a sign to read it, which is bound to reduce your reaction time.

Know Your Weaknesses

Do you have the capacity to acknowledge your driving weaknesses? According to a National Safety Council survey, 99 percent of people on the road think they’re really good drivers, but 93 percent of them fail at basic safety practices like turning off cell phones or obeying speed limits. Apparently, most of us are pathologically overconfident while behind the wheel.

Do you tailgate? Do you hesitate while merging or force your way into line? How about exceeding the speed limit or passing on the inside? The first steps toward improvement are recognizing your bad habits and acknowledging your vulnerability. No matter how great the truck is or how advanced the safety features are on the vehicle, we’re all at risk.

Drive Defensively

Defensive driving keeps you away from other people's problems. It’s also a thoughtful approach to being on the road. Studies have shown that it can actually reduce wear on brakes and tires, boost fuel efficiency, and, most importantly, save lives.

Defensive drivers always assume the absolute worst of everyone else on the road, which means they are paying attention to the vehicles around them. If this is your mode of operation, then you know to be prepared to swerve and/or stop with little or no warning because someone cut in front of you, drifted across lanes, stopped suddenly, slowed way down, tailgated, played chicken, etc., etc., etc.

TypeInfo: Truck Knowledge

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