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3 Simple ways to be a better driver

If you've been ticketed, involved in an accident or experienced one too many close calls, it's time to take a moment to reflect on your driving skills. Typically, people who master these three skills are less likely to get into a crash.

1. Do not touch your phone while driving

One of the best ways to keep yourself from texting or otherwise using your mobile phone while driving is to remove the possibility completely.

By purchasing a mount for your phone and getting into the routine of using it each time you drive, you can keep yourself from involuntarily pulling out your phone at stop lights or in traffic. This will make you and other drivers safer by keeping your attention on the road.

2. Keep your cool

Removing distractions from the road is a great first step. But the second reason why many accidents happen is because of drivers who get emotional behind the wheel. Feeling upset toward other drivers can cause you to drive aggressively, whether that be cutting someone off, tail-gating, brake-checking or speeding.

Try not to compare yourself to other drivers or let their actions influence yours. This can keep you from competing to get ahead of other drivers and other reckless behavior on the road.

3. Leave early

If it's not a distraction or road rage that causes an accident, one popular alternative is that a driver is in a rush. If you're trying to shave time off of your commute you may begin driving aggressively out of urgency, rather than rage. This is just as dangerous.

Most of the time speeding or running a red light can take a minute off of your expected arrival time at most. Additionally, if you get into an accident, it will undoubtedly take up way moreĀ of your time. Try to leave early and check traffic reports to take the best route. However, if an accident, storm or traffic stop happens ahead, you may need to be patient through slow-moving traffic to stay safe.

Control what you can

There are many hazards that you won't have much control over, such as road conditions, weather and other drivers. However, by practicing these three behaviors, you'll significantly lower your odds of getting into a costly accident.

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