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Driving Tips That Could Save Your Life

Night Driving
Photo: iStockphoto

We post a lot of driving tips here on PumpTalk - everything from how to buckle up properly to what kind of shoes to wear in the car. Most safe driving tips are pretty much common sense, but every now and then, I come across tips that are either news to me OR that address a driving practice that I'd never really thought about. And then I pass these tips on to you! Here are a few new things I learned about driving this week.

1. Your hands should be at 9 and 3, not 10 and 2.

According to this article in the Toronto Star, an appalling number of drivers have only one hand (or occasionally, just their knees) on their steering wheel when they drive. But for those of us who are keen to keep both hands on the wheel, it turns out that the correct hand position is 9 and 3 - not the 10 and 2 that most of us learned in Driver's Ed. It turns out that the 9 and 3 position not only offers greater control of the wheel, but it can also help protect your hands and face if your air bag deploys.

2. When waiting to turn left, keep your wheels straight ahead until you're actually turning.

That way, if you happen to get rear-ended, your car will move forward instead of potentially veering into oncoming traffic. This tip makes sense but I confess that I often have my wheels turned when I'm waiting for my chance to turn left - I'll definitely try to keep my wheels straight from now on. Making a left turn may seem like old hat but it's worth checking out this article for a run down on proper left turning procedure.

3. When driving at night, keep your eyes on the line.

In the city where there's plenty of light, this tip doesn't really apply - but when driving more rural roads at night, look towards the white line marking the outside edge of the traffic lane instead of directly at the headlights of oncoming vehicles. That way you won't be blinded by the light, so to speak, and you'll be able to react more quickly should you need to.

Are these tips news to you - or are they already a part of your regular driving routine? What safe driving tips have you recently discovered? For more safe driving tips, check out the rest of the posts in our Driving archive.

- Rose R.

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