A few tips for drivers, new or experienced

Driving Tips

Driving Tips

Lane hopping

Have you ever been in a long supermarket queue, stuck behind the tannie with the strange hat? You notice the next queue is much shorter, so you move there. Then the next. Twenty minutes later you finally get to pay and the tannie with the strange hat is long gone.

This phenomenon applies to lane hopping on the freeway – almost a South African national sport. There are many authoritative but very dull studies to show that lane hopping does not really work.

So let’s turn to Mythbusters.

They did a 74 km commute between San Francisco and San Jose, one car bobbing and weaving to find the fastest flow, the other sticking to the fast lane. The lane hopper took one hour and eleven minutes, beating the lane stickler by a whopping two minutes. The extra fuel burned, the stress, the increased risk of an accident, for a measly two minutes?

Blind spots

Speaking of lane changing and accidents, let’s talk about your car’s blind spots. A blind spot is that area between where a car passing from behind is no longer visible in your side mirrors, but not yet in your peripheral vision.

Bang! Sorry, I did not see you.

You can test your blind spots by reversing past a parked car (in a quiet parking lot please), and check what you can and cannot see.

It is possible to reduce or eliminate the blind spots by adjusting your side mirrors. Adjust them so there is the merest sliver of your car visible on each inside edge of your side mirrors. Some say you should not see any part of your car, but then you won’t know if someone knocked your mirror out of whack at the shops. Your rear-view mirror should show the whole back window from your normal driving position.

The normal driving position

This is where you sit comfortably behind the wheel, able to see well and can use the pedals and turn the wheel with ease.

Your car’s driving post has several adjustable settings, depending on the model. You could adjust your seat height and distance from the pedals, and the steering wheel back or forth and up or down. You can change the angle of the backrest to accommodate your strangely short or long arms.

Sit with your back against the backrest and adjust everything. Move the seat forward or back until your legs comfortably reach the pedals with your knees slightly bent. Likewise, your hands should reach the steering wheel in the quarter to three positions with your elbows comfortably bent. Do make sure you can see over the steering wheel without your head touching the roof. If your seatbelt height can adjust, do so that it falls over your shoulder across your chest.

You are now in your normal driving position. Set your mirrors to eliminate the blind spots and you are good to go.

For more driving tips or just news about Datsun, please check our blog.

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