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What does good driving really mean? The ABCDS of driving well

Do you think you’re a good driver? We all do but studies have shown that 81% of us think we are good drivers, but only 33% actually are, which means for all of us that get behind the wheel, we have some work to do when it comes to actually driving well.

Changing behaviours can be difficult, especially when a lot of the time we don’t even realise what habits we need to take note of and make subtle changes to. That’s why at Vitality we invented the Good Driving Programme - a way to encourage all drivers to pay more attention to how and why they drive like they do. Did you end up braking harshly whilst driving? This could have been caused by a distraction such as keeping an eye on the kids in the backseat or declining a phone call that kept popping up on your mobile.

Every time we get in the car we have the opportunity to be more mindful of how we're driving, and by also practicing the ABCDs of good driving you can become more conscious of the aspects that could be influencing the way that you drive. Which brings us on to the question: what exactly are the ABCDs of good driving and how can they help you to not only become a better driver, but also earn rewards with Vitality car insurance?

The ABCDs are Vitality's way of looking at what factors when driving could be better, and the key areas of focus when it comes to making behaviour changes when driving. So let's look a little further into these:

A = Acceleration

Unless you're going around a race course there is never the need to really accelerate really harshly. Acceleration should be a gentle movement that gradually builds speed as we navigate the road, adjusting the speed we're driving at depending on the location, situation and what's going on around us. It can be easy to accelerate harshly if you're not paying attention to it, but once you are it only takes a little change in habit to go a little slower when it comes to accelerating.

B = Braking

Harsh braking is a similar concept to acceleration in the terms that we should be taking this gradually and breaking slowly as we need to. We all know how to emergency stop, but the reason for doing so should only ever be in an emergency, not when we’re approaching stationary traffic or a junction.

C = Cornering

When taking corners in the car, extra caution needs to be taken as we often can't predict what the situation will be once we turn. Taking corners at an appropriate speed and within the right range ensures that as a driver we have enough time to assess the situation and see if there are any potential hazards such as pedestrians in the road or cars stopped still.

D = Distractions

It is so easy to become distracted whilst in the car, especially if you have passengers such as children or even adults. One of the biggest distractions in the car are our mobile phones - whilst handy for getting us to our destination, they can be a big cause for accidents. The law is very clear on mobile phones, it's illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any device that can send or receive data, while driving. So keep yourself, passengers, and other road users safe by not touching your phone.

S = Speeding

We all know the dangers of speeding, and even if you're going just a few miles over the limit, it could make a serious difference if you were to have an impact with another vehicle. Being more conscious of your speed at all times will allow you to stay within the speed limits.

Each of these can be dangerous driving behaviours in themselves, but if you're accelerating and cornering too fast, you could potentially lose control of your vehicle and cause an accident. The Department of Transport reported that 50% of reported road accidents are linked to behaviour, which means changing driving behaviours can help to prevent incidents. By becoming safer driving with the ABCDS, we can all work towards making roads safer for everyone.


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