Oops!

You think you’re pretty good behind the wheel, right? Here’s part 4 of what you might be doing while on the road. See part 1, 2 & 3 in our previous week’s posts.

  • Crowding the car in front on an uphill stop sign/light
    Your car might be an automatic, so when you’re on a hill you don’t go backwards in that moment between letting off the brake and hitting the accelerator. But for anyone in a manual, especially someone that’s not terribly experienced with a clutch, you’ve upped the stress factor by reducing the margin for error. You’re being insensitive if you then honk at that driver if they roll back a little when the light changes.
  • Dive-bomb braking 
    As you know, the best way to brake for a turn is not to wait until the last second and slam on the brakes. Still, most drivers — yes, this probably includes you — do this annoying thing where they lightly press the brake pedal as the turn approaches without really slowing down. Essentially, you’re still waiting until the last second before you brake for real, and because your brake lights have been on the whole time, the person behind you has no warning when you brake harder.
    Instead, practice what’s called limo braking: when you start braking, press the pedal harder than you normally do, then ease up as you get closer to the turn, so you’re still slowing down enough for the turn, but not screwing with the driver behind you.
  • Turning left too early
    If you’re in a left-most of a double left-turn lane, there’s nothing more frightening than trying to figure out if the person on your right is going to cut across the line. Often, they will.
     

Come back next week for part 5, to see what else you may be doing without realizing it.

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