Drivers, you can’t be afraid to drive. If you are then please don’t drive until you have the confidence. For those of us that aren’t afraid to drive and those of us that trust our ability to drive. You make it dangerous for the rest of us. I’m not talking about the drivers that go stupid fast, those guys are just as dangerous! Now I’m not a perfect driver by any means but have driven on the track and I have had a driving instructor sitting beside me as I’m driving on the track. I’ve also been tested at the Toyota Proving Grounds on my ability to drive and drive safely and ability to miss obstacles that may come out of nowhere.
I’m not sure if any of you had seen the TV show Family Matters, where Carl is teaching Eddie to drive and he keeps yelling out the “Watch out for the bread truck!!” Well, Carl would yell it out so much so that it got Eddie frazzled that when there was actually a bread truck coming around the corner, he panicked and ended up crashing into the truck. His dad hounded him so much so that he was afraid to drive and in turn caused him to wreck. Don’t be like Eddie and Carl.
There are ways you can get comfortable driving and becoming a more skillful driver. There are programs out there. You may think those are just for new drivers, but they have programs for those of us that have been driving for a while. They are called defensive driving courses. Some of the ones you can find are (https://www.frontsight.com/DefensiveDriving/) and (https://driversedge.org/the-program/) – this is for ages 21 and Younger so if you have teens that are at that age to learn how to drive this is a good one and it’s Free!! (https://www.nevada-drive-academy.com/) these are all located in Nevada, however, with just a quick search you can find them in your own state.
Some of the things they will teach you are hand placement. You’re supposed to keep both hands on the wheel at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. When you turn a corner you never cross your hands over each other, when you do that you can’t react as fast should anything happen, whether it’s a flat tire or a vehicle that runs a light. Instead, you shuffle your hands where they barely come off the steering wheel. You want to make sure you have control at all times. Another thing they will go over is scanning the road in front of you. This way you are completely aware of your surroundings and can react. Also, a good habit to have is always checking behind you too. One of the reasons I say to watch behind you is in case there is a car going out of control you can assess the situation and then move out of the way if you need to.
Lately, I have been practicing my left foot braking. When I was sent to the proving grounds, my instructor had me work on left foot braking. It was mainly to help keep my foot on the accelerator pedal, so I could go faster around the corner when I’m on the track. I can’t tell you if it will help or hurt you because I honestly don’t know. There is still a lot more I need to learn myself and I don’t want to give the wrong information out. The only way I can increase my skill is to hit the track or a road course, which I will do as soon as money comes available. Until then I’ll just keep learning all I can from Youtube Videos and read books.