The New Zealand No.8 wire and ‘I’ve got this’ culture is great when it comes to innovation and getting things done. But, as you may have read in our previous article, attitudes like these might be causing us problems on the road.
You know it’s not just recognising the attitude, but doing something about it, that improves our driving. With that in mind, we’ve put together some practical tips and actions to help you make better on-road choices:
We’re well known for our creativity, innovation and stretching the limits and boundaries. But driving isn’t the best time for these!
Do you know when you’re likely to stretch the boundaries on the road? Maybe it’s the speed limit and driving ‘just a bit’ over? Or is it at stop signs, orange lights, or roadworks?
So, you could: Get creative in a different way – think about the situation and what tools you have to solve it. Use technology like your cruise control option to remove temptation and help you maintain a safe speed. And stretch your limits and boundaries elsewhere – keep driving for chill time. Our brains are surprisingly good at compartmentalising our activities and keeping things separate.
She’ll be right.
It might be okay to take a risk on many things in life and assume things will workout just fine. But playing loose and free on the road is just silly.
Some things to consider: Make sure you know your vehicle really well. Check it regularly to be sure it’s running as it should. That’s things like your tyre pressure, tread and condition, and windscreen washer fluid. Similarly, plan your journey and be aware of conditions on the road around you. The weather is an obvious culprit here but also time of day, roadworks, road condition and so on. And did you know that if someone in the car isn’t wearing their seatbelt, they’re not just putting their own safety at risk? In the event of a crash they’re actually making it more likely that others in the car will be injured or even killed. So, keep yourself and your passengers safe - make sure everyone’s buckled up before you drive.
I’ve got this!
Kiwis tend to feel we can do things others can’t. But this can come with a bit of a ‘I know what I’m doing’ or ‘the other driver is the problem’ attitude. Which might cause us to make poor decisions when behind the wheel.
So how do you make better decisions? Part of it is practice – regularly consciously weighing up alternatives means you’ll make more deliberate choices. Do you really need to take that call right now? Also try to think about what other road users are experiencing – literally imagine yourself in their position and see if that changes what you’re thinking. And finally, it’s ok to get help. Your car has lots of built-in decision-making assistance. You have basic features like mirrors, gauges, warning lights and tones, and probably further safety features such as lane assist, blind spot monitoring, or reversing camera. These things are all there to help you, so get familiar with them and use them!
I’m tough, I’ll be fine.
When it comes to driving, pushing through and keeping on going can get us into trouble. Knowing how you’re feeling and whether you’re okay to drive, setting an example for others on the road – that’s a much better way of being a hero.
Do you know how to assess yourself to see whether you’re fine to drive? Having a routine series of checks in place will help reduce the number of times you get behind the wheel angry, tired, or over your limit. How do you check in with yourself?
Food for thought? Then take all the good stuff we’ve talked about here and apply it next time you drive!