Nine bad driving habits
July 11, 2017 at 1:56 PM
Deep down, we all think we are beyond reproach when it comes to our behaviour behind the wheel. But you might be surprised that according to experts from motoring organisation the RAC, some of your exemplary driving habits are not so clever after all. They recently published a list of some of the most common bad habits that drivers have been doing for all these years.
Here is our top nine:
1) Driving at ten to two
We were all encouraged from the first time we sat behind the wheel as nervous teenagers to place our hands at ten and two on the imaginary clock face that is our steering wheel. Not any more – these days, driving schools recommend a “nine and three” approach. That is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, ten and two was designed to give the arms more leverage to turn the wheel – unnecessary in this age of power steering. And secondly, the ten and two positions could put your arms right in the path of the airbag in the event of a collision.
2) Slamming on the brakes after a blow out
This is a relatively modern day myth and is one born of the ABS generation. The theory is that if you have a sudden puncture, slamming on the brakes will slow the car rapidly, and the anti-lock brakes will prevent any skid. In fact, doing this with one flat tyre is just going to destabilise your car even more and could cause an accident. Slow the car smoothly and concentrate on keeping it in a straight line till you can safely pull in to the side of the road.
3) The annual oil change
Dad’s advice from all those years ago to make sure you change the oil every year is no longer the case, at least not necessarily. Today’s oils last longer, so check the service schedule in your handbook and follow that, rather than the old advice passed down through generations.
4) Letting the car warm up
Speaking of advice from years gone by - do you sit in your car of a morning with the engine ticking over, waiting for it to warm up before you go anywhere? All you are doing is wasting fuel – it is pointless with modern engines.
5) Winter tyres
There is a common misconception that winter tyres are only relevant in countries like Finland or Kazakhstan and would not be suitable in the milder winters we have in the UK. Not true. They make driving considerably safer in temperatures below 7C by improving grip and reducing stopping distances.
6) Premium fuel
Unless you have a high-performance car, there is no added benefit to putting premium grade fuel in the tank. All you are doing is burning a hole in your wallet.
7) Topping off the tank
When you fill your tank, the pump cuts out before it is full for a reason. Squeezing that extra half a litre in will give the fuel no room to expand and can result in damage to the vapour filter.
8) Minimum speed
Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum speed limit on UK motorways. You could, however, be pulled over for dangerous driving if you go too slowly, so the advice is to keep up with the flow of traffic.
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