10 Safety tips

Don Palmer is a master coach in advanced road and racetrack driving techniques. In short, he’s one of the very best drivers in the world. His philosophical approach will help you become a safer driver.

1. Be alert

If we think of rules as guidelines, rather than strict commands, we know when they are and aren’t applicable. Always allow yourself the flexibility to choose the most appropriate response to any challenge faced.

2. It’s all about you

Remember, it's not just about the vehicle. Be aware of your environment, the type of car, and the specific skills required. Perfect your concentration and awareness when behind the wheel, and your skills will fall in line.

3. Control your fear

It's instinctive for us to let fear take control when we meet a challenge on the road. However, building the right beliefs about driving confidence will allow logic and good practice to dominate any challenges.

4. Safety is a skill

There are 3 types of driver: those who have their own crashes, those who get involved in other peoples crashes, and people who simply don’t have them. ‘Good’ drivers can still crash – it’s more important to be safe.

5. Don’t distract yourself

Make use of your surroundings. Don’t just listen to the radio and keep an eye out for speed cameras – look ahead for potential hazards and they won’t catch you by surprise.

6. Expect the unexpected

A better overall understanding of the road means that you will be able to spot precursor events leading to a potential accident. Always remember that a crash doesn’t have to be inevitable.

7. Take it slowly

Fast driving belongs on the racetrack. Travelling at an easy, sensible pace gives you plenty of time and distance to respond to anything you may encounter.

8. Get to grips with your steering

Most people don’t pay enough attention to their steering. If a car begins to lose control, the steering wheel is both the first place you’ll feel it and the best tool for responding to it.

9. Be a smooth operator

Handle your steering and brakes with care. Steer firmly but gradually, avoiding harsh movements. An increased awareness means that you can brake earlier, and with a smoother motion.

10. Know your limits

Without completing an advanced driving course, there’s only so much you can know. It’s important to understand the limits of your skills as a driver, and knowing not to push them.

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