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ABOUT DRIVING IN THE REAL WORLD

Driving in the Real WorldTM is currently a blog about driving safely and efficiently in the real world. Many driver's education programs, especially in the United States, do not adequately train people to properly handle the complex challenges of everyday driving. DITRWTM offers tips, techniques, and reflections on driving that will improve your on-the-road awareness and may even save your life. In future months, this blog will become part of a much larger website that will feature exciting apps, games, community forums, and a whole new way to learn about street driving.

My hope is to make our roads safer by making it socially unacceptable to be a bad driver. We need to rethink how we drive, how we teach it in America, and make safety and cooperation a far higher priority, but in fun, enjoyable, and practical ways. And many people don't realize this, but what makes you a better driver also improves you in many other parts of life.

Thank you for visiting. I invite readers to share their own experiences and reflections on driving, to suggest ideas for my upcoming book on the subject, and to follow me on Twitter (@DrivingReal).

—Mi Ae

 

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Thursday
Feb102011

10 Ways To Improve Your Driving Immediately

Don't try this on the move, like I've seen some people do. Scary.

This week I am in the middle of both packing for an impending move and getting ready for a long road trip to the frozen Midwest. So this post will be short and sweet, but hopefully you’ll find it useful.

Regardless of your skill level, here are 10 ways to immediately improve your driving:

1.  Learn to scan the road at least a quarter of a mile ahead. This will help you anticipate and strategize for changing conditions and traffic.

2.  Don’t be a road potato and hog the left lane. Move over to the right and let faster drivers pass.

3.  If you’re behind a tall delivery truck or a semi on streets with traffic lights, don’t follow it too closely. If he runs a yellow light, you may not see that the light has turned red until the top of his vehicle clears the light and you’re smack in the middle of the intersection.

4.  Regardless of what else you may be doing in your car while driving, don’t take your eyes off the road for more than a second at a time. Less is better.

5.  Hesitation or indecision can be deadly at intersections and when changing lanes on the freeway. Be decisive and prompt in your intentions and actions.

6.  If you’re stopped for a red light at an intersection, quickly look both ways before you go on the green light to check for red-light runners.

7.  Don’t brake unless it’s really necessary. Don’t accelerate unless it’s really necessary. Keeping a light foot on both pedals saves both gas and your brakes.

8.  Never, ever text when you’re driving. Texting has been proven to be more dangerous than  driving under the influence of alcohol.

9.  Think twice at intersections. Every time you push a yellow light, you may be forcing someone oncoming who is caught in the middle of the intersection to go on a red.

10.  When you parallel park or do a 3-point turn, crank the steering wheel in the direction you want before you start moving the car. It makes all the difference in the world.

 

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