Learning and using driving techniques make a big difference when it comes to getting the most out of a vehicle, reducing fuel consumption, extending the useful life of mechanics and, above all, increasing road safety.
Of course, as in any other field, a certain level of dedication is required, as well as the learning of key knowledge.
Throughout the contents of our blog, you will have access to a large number of articles specialized in the main driving techniques, so that you can quickly become an expert behind the wheel.
Key principles in driving techniques
The first thing you need to understand is that driving is a complex activity that requires considerable psychomotor coordination and extreme attention.
It is true that, with the passage of time, a large part of the gestures and actions of driving become automatisms. However, this also translates to:
- An overconfidence that can lead to accidents.
- The accumulation of driving vices that damage the mechanics of the car and worsen the quality of your driving, which can also lead to accidents.
Driving techniques: Eliminate typical vices
Before tackling the more advanced driving techniques, you need to make sure that you are not committing the most frequent vices among drivers. Otherwise, learning new concepts and tricks will be limited by these previous driving flaws.
Position relative to the pedals
First of all, you need to make sure that the distance between the seat and the pedals is suitable for the length of your legs. Adjust the bench horizontally so that you can fully depress the clutch, keeping your knee slightly bent. This will ensure that you have optimal access to the vehicle’s pedals without having to force your legs or make strange movements.
Position relative to the steering wheel
The steering wheel should be the next point of reference when adopting a correct posture in the driver’s compartment. You must position yourself so that you can hold the steering wheel with both hands, as well as have easy access to the different controls of the vehicle.
In addition, the position you adopt with respect to the steering wheel will determine the level of visibility you have of the road, especially of the closest objects and, therefore, more dangerous.
In order to position yourself at the correct distance, we recommend supporting your back on the backrest and placing your hands on the steering wheel. You should be able to place your wrists on top of it. This should allow you to grip the wheel with your elbows slightly bent. That way, you can take the curves without having to take your back off the seat.
Hands on the wheel
One of the most common vices among drivers is resting the right hand on the gear lever. This is an unequivocal sign of overconfidence and relaxation, which increases the chances of having an accident.
Driving exercise should be carried out in a calm and relaxed manner, but never to the point of reducing control over the vehicle.
This is precisely what happens when a hand is removed from the steering wheel. The ability to react to an unforeseen event is reduced, lengthening the reaction time and limiting the scope of the maneuver.
As a general rule, the hands should be placed in parallel, with the palms facing each other and on the midline of the steering wheel.
Maneuver when cornering
Fast corners offer no greater complication than adapting the car’s trajectory with a smooth movement of the steering wheel and, if necessary, allowing the car to decelerate, taking your foot off the gas pedal.
Slow corners, on the other hand, require a specific sequence of movements: Braking, slowing down and turning the wheel.
In order for the steering wheel to turn in an optimal way, it is necessary to prepare the hands, so as to save as many movements as possible.
In right-hand cornering, the right hand should be raised to the top of the steering wheel and the turn started, while the left hand will remain on the midline, allowing the steering wheel to slip, but without losing contact with it.
Once the right hand reaches the four o’clock position, and as long as it is necessary, it will be the turn of the left hand, which must continue with the turn until it reaches 12 o’clock.
Throughout this movement of the left hand, the right hand must have been ascending until both are in the 12 o’clock position. In case the curve so requires, the right hand will be in charge of continuing with the turn, while the left recovers the position on the midline of the steering wheel to start the whole maneuver again.
In the curves to the right, the movement of the hands is exactly the same but in reverse, so that it is the left hand that starts the process, placing itself on the top of the steering wheel.
Although the field of vision of the human being reaches 180º, our capacity of focal attention is much smaller. This is the reason why we tend to move the car where we look.
For this reason, it is recommended that the focus of the gaze is always placed on a distant point and in the center of the vehicle’s path. This is also the best way to anticipate the necessary future maneuvers, as we explained in our article on Efficient Driving Techniques .
Visual attention in traffic with dense traffic
This type of medium and long-distance care is critical in times of high-speed traffic but with a very high traffic density. In these cases, maintaining a safe distance can be a challenge, due to the number of vehicles present on the road, especially on motorways and highways. Therefore, being able to anticipate braking when perceiving the deceleration of the vehicles in front of you, will avoid any type of collision by reach.
Unfortunately, the most common practice in this type of case is to focus only on the vehicle immediately in front of us. Taking into account the short safety distance that is usually maintained, the chances of suffering an accident skyrocket. That is why attention must be adequately distributed among vehicles and obstacles, both at short and medium distances.
Other driving techniques
There is a large number and variety of driving techniques, both in terms of the type of vehicle and the scope of application.
Efficient driving techniques
We recommend that you examine our complete Efficient Driving guide published on this blog.
Motorcycle riding techniques
Users of our Motorcycle Renting can be greatly benefited by learning specific techniques for two-wheeled vehicles.
Preventive driving techniques
The aim of this type of driving is to guarantee the maximum anticipation capacity of the driver in the event of unforeseen events on the road, so as to minimize the chances of having an accident.
Sport driving techniques
Sports driving has become fashionable among many users who want to be able to enjoy their vehicles on speed tracks prepared for it. Mastering these types of techniques guarantees a memorable experience.
4 × 4 driving techniques
Finally, 4 × 4 vehicles also require great driving skills. If you want to get the most out of this type of car, you need to learn specific driving techniques.