Even on dull days, the shadows cast by a highway over-bridge is an excellent marker with which to check that your following distance is adequate.

Photograph copyright 2012 - All rights reserved

 

BAD ADVICE, MYTHS & MISTAKES ABOUT SAFE DRIVING

 

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In terms of safety, the act of driving creates a phenomenon known as illusory superiority or the above average effect (check out this and the "Driving Ability" section, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority).  Surveys in various countries show that around 70-90 percent of drivers believe themselves to be at least "above average" in terms of driving skills and abilities.  On the other hand, it is now widely accepted that over 90 percent of all crashes involve driver error as one of the causes.  To quote two wonderfully appropriate American expressions, either "do the math," or just "go figure!"  The number of crashes (and casualties) each day, combined with the above fact that more than 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error, effectively prove that much individual faith in our own driving skills is very unfounded indeed.

 

Statisticians will say that for 90 percent of drivers to be above average is "mathematically improbable" but I think many of us would have a less benevolent way of wording that comment!

 

The problem is, though, that this widespread, excessive self-belief has lead to many drivers thinking themselves to be experts in what in terms of safety is actually a complex task.  This, in turn, has resulted in there being a lot of bad "advice" out there about driving, so-called "advice" that is actually very misleading or even downright dangerous.  

 

Click on the relevant topics below to read what the bad advice is, why it is bad, and what the safest advice is.

 

[Please note that this page and its links are under construction, so if the answer you want is not yet hyperlinked either check back here at some stage or by all means e-mail us for the answer!]

 

Fact: Using race drivers to teach safe driving can be very unwise.  If you want to know why, follow this link!

 

Skid pad training and learning to swerve to "avoid a crisis" are NOT a good thing to do. If you don't believe it, read the research!

 

How should you hold the steering wheel (as in "hand position")?  [Currently an older link to be updated.]

 

How should you turn the steering wheel?

 

When should you use the parking brake (and what is an "emergency brake")?

 

Where do you find information about the correct pressure to be used when inflating your car tires?

 

How should you set the exterior mirrors?  [Currently an older link to be updated.]

 

Should doors always be locked when driving?

 

What should you do if you go off the road into deep water?

 

When exactly should you switch your headlights on, in the evening?

 

When should you switch from high-beam to low-beam headlights, at night?

 

When can you have fog lights on?

 

Should you have rear fog lights (and what are rear fog lights, anyway)?

 

What should you do if you start to feel a bit drowsy at the wheel and it is still, say, 20-30 miles to the next rest area?

 

If you are a fully-grown adult, how much alcohol can you drink in two hours and still be totally safe to drive?

 

 

 

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All contents including text, logos, artwork and photographs are copyright 2010 Advanced Drivers of America and/or Eddie Wren, unless stated otherwise.  Website last modified on 07-May-2012.