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3 Critical Driving Skills Everyone Must Master

Knowing the basics of driving and vehicle operation might be enough to get a driver’s license, but it’s not enough to keep you safe. Whether you’re newly licensed or you’ve been driving for decades, it’s easy to have bad habits. Getting too comfortable behind the wheel, feeling invincible, or thinking the rules of the road don’t apply to you are likely to get you or other drivers killed. Driving is a big responsibility and should be treated as such.

Here are three critical safety skills every driver must know:

SMOG. When changing lanes, the SMOG systems is a great way to keep safe. It teaches drivers to SIGNAL their intention to change lanes, check their MIRRORS, look OVER their shoulder to check their blind spot, and then, when it’s clear, to GO. A driver should be able to see the entire front end of a car in the rearview mirror before moving in front of it to ensure they’ve cleared the vehicle.

Trucks. Since many drivers aren’t familiar with driving a truck, they may not realize just how limited a truck driver’s visibility is. Regardless of the kind of truck, the entire right side is essentially one big blind spot. If you can’t see a truck’s mirrors, the driver of the truck cannot see you. You’ll need to be 20 feet in front of or behind a truck to be visible. It’s important to never pass a truck on the right since the driver will have no idea you’re there.

Bail out zone. A driver should always have an idea of where they can go if there’s ever an incident or imminent danger. It could be a shoulder, another lane, or simply enough room ahead, but planning for hazards is essential.

Knowing how to handle dangerous situations and how to avoid them is key to driving safety.