Top Tips for How to Improve Your Driving Skills

No matter how good a driver you think you are (ok, that you know you are), there’s not a person in the world that couldn’t benefit from some advice on how to be a better one. Even if driving seems like second nature to you, if you’re involved in a career doing courier jobs it’s all too easy to fall into complacency and bad habits when you’re out on the roads so much.

While some of the following tips may seem like common sense, they certainly bear repeating. And repeating. If you’ve just started doing courier jobs you’ll find some gems, and if you’re an old dog, you might dig up a few tasty forgotten bones…

Brake it Easy

Progressive braking is the art of doing exactly what it says on the tin: braking lightly at first, then applying heavier pressure, and then finally a return to light pressure. Easy does it is the mantra, and this not only allows other motorists to see and react to what you’re doing, its also gentler on your vehicle and better on your fuel bill.

Read the Road Ahead

When you’re out on the road all day doing courier jobs, this tip is more important than most. It’s vital that you are aware of what’s going on around you – beyond simply the vehicle in front. Make it a habit to look ahead as far as you can, regularly, so you can see any potential issues before you’re on top of them.

Keep your Distance

Yes, yes, you know about the perils and annoyances of tailgating, but do you actually stick to the old ‘two-second rule’? Don’t just think about it; do as you would have done unto you and maintain a safe (two-second) distance from the car in front.

Accelerated Learning

Don’t be a jerk! If you want to improve your driving and save bundles of fuel, do this: accelerate slowwwlyyy. Smoother acceleration (and braking) has the potential to add around 20% to your fuel efficiency, and if that’s not enough to convince you, your chiropractor might have a few more reasons…

Know the Speed Limits and Stick to Them

Staying within the law is a pretty good incentive not to speed (because good luck getting any courier jobs without a licence), but so is your safety, saving money on fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle. Ignorance is no excuse: know the speed limits wherever you’re driving and stick to them. And a P.S to this tip: use your common sense and adjust your speed accordingly if you encounter bad weather or difficulty with visibility.

Concentration is Key

If you’re in control of a vehicle, you should be concentrating on the task in hand – not talking on the phone (or even taking a sneaky glance at your notifications), eating a burger, fumbling with your Google Maps or anything else that will take away your attention from the road. This becomes even more pertinent when you’re driving in built-up areas with loads of other vehicles and pedestrians just waiting to jump out into your path.

Respect the Machine

Finally, you should never lose sight of the power you wield when you get behind the wheel; but by the same token, neither should you underestimate your own vulnerability. That’s a big old lump of metal and engine components you’re zooming around in, so treat it with respect and care.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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