Check out the most important personality traits that make up a safe driver.
Sometimes, it feels good to be bad, but when it comes to driving, it’s better to be an angel all the time. On the streets, being good keeps you safe – not to mention helping you save on insurance.
But it’s just so hard to be good, right?
Not really. If fact, we bet you're pretty darn good.
At Onlia, we’re a little obsessed with talking about safe driving behaviour, so we put our heads together to whip up this list of the five personality traits that separate the good drivers from the bad drivers. How many do you have?
Safe drivers believe it’s the safe way or no way
A safe driver puts safety first all the time. Not just when they’re early or when they’re in a good mood. If they’re running late, they don’t exceed the speed limit or start texting ETAs while driving. They take a breath, recognize that it’s better to arrive late than arrive sorry, and do exactly what they always do: follow the rules of the road and stay alert.
On the other hand...
Bad drivers can be reckless. They text while driving. According to the Ontario government, someone’s injured every 30 minutes due to distracted driving. Bad drivers speed, disregard the rules of the road, and fail to think about their fellow drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. They also drive when they’re upset rather than waiting until they’ve cooled off.
They keep their eyes peeled
Two of the fundamentals of defensive driving are “think and look ahead” and “anticipate hazards”. Quality counsel. Safe drivers get into less collisions, because they can see dangerous situations coming and know how to avoid them effectively.
Bad drivers have what’s known as a “free rider” mentality. They take advantage of the fact that other people follow the rules of the road and proceed to do what they want. For instance, some drivers don’t come to a full stop at a stop sign on the assumption that others will do it anyway.
They practice excellent driving etiquette
You wouldn’t speed up to cut off an old lady while walking down the sidewalk or reach over someone’s plate for the salt during a formal dinner. Why? Because you’re classy. Hot tip: manners still apply on the road. Safe drivers practice good driving etiquette. A safe driver doesn’t dart between lanes in slow-moving traffic. A safe driver doesn’t tailgate. A safe driver is mindful of vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. And a safe driver most certainly doesn’t fly into a fit of road rage no matter how bad traffic is.
On the flip side...
Bad drivers don’t care about the people they share the road with. Like that guy at the party who double dips the chips, bad drivers act like the roads belong to them. It doesn’t matter how impressive your car is. With manners like that, you won’t get very far.
They’re good in emergencies
Good drivers know what to do in an emergency, and they remain cool as a cucumber while managing one. After a collision, they focus on checking that others are okay before checking vehicles – cars are replaceable; people aren’t. When things go wrong, they move their car to a safe place like the shoulder of the road and turn on their hazard lights to alert other drivers.
Bad drivers are more concerned with their belongings than other people. Now, we’re not suggesting you put yourself in danger in an emergency. If you’re injured or it’s dangerous to help another driver, wait for emergency services to arrive. But when there’s a choice between shouting about your fender or checking on a hurt person, good drivers put people first.
They don’t treat driving like a competition
Good drivers think of driving as a means – getting from point A to B conveniently and safely – not as a competition. They’re not performing stunts to impress fellow motorists. They’re focused on navigating the roads safely.
Bad drivers treat driving as a competition, as if they need to outdo other people. Even people they don’t know. Whether it’s ego driven or anger driven, bad drivers are reckless and irresponsible and put people at risk.
Being a good driver is all about having the right attitude
More than anything, good drivers have a responsible, proactive attitude. They prioritize safety and they care about everyone who shares the road, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. They are considerate, alert, and accountable, and the roads are better for having them.
Do you tick all the boxes that make for a safe driver? Anything other safe characteristics we forgot to mention here? Tweet @OnliaCA and let us know!