6 Driving Tips You've Probably Never Heard Of – Car Throttle

Don’t you just love it when people tell you how to drive? Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that. Well, I won’t do it again – I did offer some insight a while ago in a somewhat serious piece on dumb things new drivers do. But hey, you’ve earned that driver’s license, and being a petrolhead you’ve probably engaged in some form of automotive tomfoolery at some point. As long as you understand there’s a time and a place for such antics, have at it.
What I’ll offer this time around are a few tips I’ve picked up through the years. These aren’t the same old rehashed bits of advice you find in every driver education manual, or at least, they aren’t in any manual I’ve seen in the States. Nor will these tips help you become an F1 driver, or for that fact, a better amateur go-kart racer.
Nope, these are just some thinking-outside-the-box ideas I’ve come to embrace through the years that can help keep you safer on the road. If you already practice some or all of these, awesome. If you’ve never considered such things, at least give them a shot. Maybe they’ll help you when you need it most.
According to Mr. Obvious, brake lights let other motorists know when you’re slowing down. But when you see them on a car well in front of you, like maybe a mile or so ahead, don’t just ignore it. This is especially critical at night in light traffic, when visibility is limited to the reach of your headlights. Why did that car up the road hit the brakes? Is there something in the lane? A person or animal on the shoulder? Are the rozzers up there with a radar gun? It could be nothing, but it’s still a good idea to be extra aware, just in case it’s not nothing.
This one’s for the automatic drivers (and another reason why manuals are awesome) who encounter slippery roads. If you’re having trouble stopping, throw the car into neutral. As long as the car is in gear, there’s power going to the wheels and you’ll need to overcome that as well as the slick roads to stop. If it’s really icy, and especially if you’re going downhill, shifting to neutral takes that power away and you’ll stop much easier. This has saved me from sliding through intersections more than once.
And for crying out loud – never bail out before the crash if someone nearby has a camera. Just watch the video to see what I mean.
Here’s another winter weather tip. If it’s cold and snowy and there are two tracks of ice where everyone’s been driving, don’t drive in the tracks. Sometimes you can move left or right just half a meter and find much better traction. Better yet, if you’re on a highway with two or more lanes going the same direction, try moving to the other lane. It could be completely snow covered, but that’s still usually better than ice covered. Finding extra traction isn’t an automatic excuse to floor the gas, but at least you’ll have some grip in case you need to make emergency manoeuvres.
This one is for daylight driving at higher speeds. The theory is that, at a distance you’re likely to notice a wheel starting to turn on the vehicle before you notice the whole thing moving. This is especially helpful if you’re zipping down the road at a modestly high speed and you see a car on a side road or driveway waiting to turn. This tip might only give you milliseconds of advanced warning, but if you’re doing 120kph and a car pulls out in front of you, that could be enough to avoid a major crash. It’s certainly helped me a few times.
Admittedly I don’t know traffic law across the pond, but in the U.S. this practice can be legal or illegal, depending on which state you’re in. Here’s why you should never do it regardless of law – the people using the centre lane to merge are usually looking in the opposite direction of people using the lane for its intended purpose of turning. Even if you check the turn lane before you nail the gas, it only takes a moment of looking over your shoulder as you enter the lane for someone else to move into it. The result is usually a head-on collision, and if you’re the merger, you will be at fault.
Here’s another multi-lane tip that seems to slip by most people. If you’re turning into the flow of traffic (right turns for the U.S.) on a road with two lanes of traffic going in the same direction, wait until both lanes are clear before turning. Granted this can be tough when traffic is really heavy, but you risk causing a crash by freaking out people in the far lane as you turn, or being in a crash yourself when that person decides to change lanes just as you pull into traffic. And once again, you’d be at fault for a failure to yield. When traffic is crazy heavy, you might not have a choice. But nine times out of 10 you’ll get at least a small clear stretch within 30 seconds. For me, being patient is absolutely worth the added safety.
Use your indicator a few seconds before you turn, not while you’re in the turn
In reply to by Spengabobbu
I learned to do it that way, but had a few people zipping past me who probably thought I’d accidentially switched my indicators on.
So while it helps, it can also create a risk.
In reply to by Spengabobbu
But what if you drive a BMW?
In reply to by Spengabobbu
I always say turn on your indicator before you step on the brakes to slow down for the turn
In reply to by Spengabobbu
Put on your low beam at night when turning on indicator
In reply to by Spengabobbu
But I drive a BMW
Thanks Captain Obvious
My uncle Continuously reminds me of more then half of these tips (since snow is so unusual in my city or around) and they are really so helpful. They avoid a lot of accidents makes me more vigilent of what I’m doing
This is “6 Driving Tips You’ve Should Already Know…”
In reply to by Mikhal Libi
Thought I was the only one thinking that. I have my license for just over a year now and I know all this stuff…
Aren’t all this common sense?
In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)
Common sense aint so common
#2 Is strangely fun to watch…
Don’t hog the passing lane
In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)
But is it hogging if I’m going faster than everyone else?
Okay I want to say the driving in the tracks one is completely false. USE YOUR OWN JUDGEMENT. The reason that the tracks are not snow covered is because they are usually clear. This means that they are MUCH better than snow covered. I don’t know about lightly snow covered roads, but during heavy storms here in Vermont, you do not use the passing lane (Left lane in the US) on the interstate. Anyone that does use the passing lane ends up in the ditch. This is because the passing lane is covered in snow where the right lane is usually clear.
In reply to by Max Porter
This is all dependent on the temps when the snow is falling. If it is near freezing when snow is falling the snow is very wet and when compacted by the weight of a vehicle pretty much turns into sheer ice. When at -4 or colder (25ish for you americans) the snow is far drier and therefore sticks together when compacted, forming a realtively high grip surface. Now, when there are many many cars passing over a road with sub -4 temps the snow will simply clear its self from the tire tracks unless it is a full blown snow storm. Leaving a fairly good, but still winter driving conditions road surface.
Where is the “always yield to tanks”? Do I still need to yield to tanks if I’m in my tank? or do other tanks need to yield for me? Do we decide on who is yielding based off size of tank, or firepower?
In reply to by Dude
This is important advice that was missed out by the OP…
In reply to by Dude
It is decided on who’s tank has higher battle rating on War Thunder.
In reply to by Dude
Basically, yield for Subarus and Volvos. Don’t yield for Prius. You’re good. If you see another tank, examine for nationality. If you are at war with that nation, shoot them. If you see a tank from a friendly nation or your own, wave and salute… Or check if you accidentally crossed a border.
We don’t want another Marco Polo Bridge Incident….