We do a lot of driving in our family, between taking the children to school and ferrying them around to after school clubs we also travel in the car a fair bit on the weekends as we like to explore our area and find new and exciting places to take the children to see.
I think as a parents to young children it's really important that we drive safely and we can all get into bad habits after we have been driving for a while. So here are my top tips on how to be a better driver.
Take an advanced driving course
Of course the first and most obvious way is to take a refresher driving course or to take an advanced driving course. You'll soon learn what bad habits you have picked up and even learn some new techniques that will make your driving better.
Remember to keep your distance
It's really important to remember to keep the correct distance from the car in front. The general rule is that you should have two seconds between you, and double that if it is raining. When the car in front of you passes a landmark like a lamppost you should be able to count to two before you go past the same landmark. Remember that you aren't on a racetrack and slipstreaming techniques are not appropriate on the public road, despite how much fun they are to watch on TV!
One of the only ways you are going to become a better driver is through practice. You can practice driving on faster roads, country roads and I've found myself that practice really helps when learning different parking techniques too.
Use your mirrors
This is so important and it's one of the things that we forget about as we get lazy driving habits. Make sure that all your mirrors are positioned correctly before you set off and use them regularly throughout your journey and especially when changing lanes, overtaking or making a turn.
This sounds obvious but it's easy to lose focus when you are driving and stop noticing how fast you are going. It is especially important in residential areas that you stick to the speed limit. And of course, no one wants a speeding ticket.
Know where you are going
You will become distracted very quickly if you don't know where you are going. Set up a satellite navigation device and familiarise yourself with the route before you travel so you don't come across any nasty surprises.