Human behavior is exemplified in a very unique way in the form of driving automobiles. There is a mix of driving styles from all over the country (world even). Even though this is so, there are still universal applications all can fare from. This is a quick starter-kit for the general public of some Uber driving tips that will translate over to the common commuters who drive.
I’ve had a lot of success on the road as a ride-share driver, and have received many compliments on my driving abilities and awareness. I would have given myself a high-score for my driving abilities even before I started doing it professionally. But unfortunately, so would most others; regardless if they were actually a good driver.
Some miss the bigger picture of being in harmony with your environment (in any scenario). That’s a good reason why we need to learn to handle the chaos of the road. Even if we believe we are superior to other drivers, there are always new things to learn to improve our driving. (Sometimes that means learning to deal with the bad drivers among us!)
While I could list dozens of things I’ve learned while driving on the ride-share platform, I’ve provided some basic, yet vital tactics. Follow these techniques, and you’ll be on your way to driving more efficiently and safely.
Utilize the Center Lane
As simple as it seems, most don’t seem to understand this simple concept. Staying in the center lane, overall, provides a smoother flow, a safer panoramic view, and maneuverability options. Of course, there are cities without 6 lanes of traffic throughout its grid. But we all can use this technique on the freeway just the same.
Follow these 3 rules for a three-lane road:
- The right lane is for slower traffic or exiting/making your turn.
- The center lane is for flow and should be utilized for long travel
- The left lane is for passing. As long as you’re passing traffic, it is acceptable to maintain left-lane positioning.
Some people may tailgate, even when a driver is maintaining a respectable passing speed. Use discretion, but don’t feel obligated to move out of the way of aggressive drivers; though it is often the safest move. Staying in the center lane helps avoid surprise turns from out-of-flow traffic, T intersections, and crossroads.
Anticipate Traffic Patterns
This comes down really, to the number one rule of the road; PAY ATTENTION!! When you are paying complete attention to the road, (at which you always should), you will actually learn to read the patterns of traffic, signals, and signs. This includes pedestrian patterns.
Mirrors are your third eye on the road. Keep a consistent scanning of your rear and side mirrors. This will inform you of proximity movements, hazards, and necessary adjustments for safety.
When you understand all these factors, you become better versed in driving techniques and can become quite advanced in handling surprises and foreseeing erratic moves by other horrible drivers. I personally feel sometimes like I’m playing a game where I have to drive perfectly for a high score. This helps keep me focused and not take bad drivers personally.
Learning traffic patterns is akin to learning a new language. And it will become obvious to you, it is foreign to most. Becoming submerged in this dialect of course is the best way to learn. Once you do, you’ll become a safer, more aware driver; more likely to avoid accidents and even careless pedestrians.
Stay Off Your Phone
It’s come down to this. People actually need to be reminded/told to stay off their phones. Laws have been passed to try to prevent this pernicious trend. Being stopped at a red light is not an excuse to use your phone while driving.
What often happens, is the light turns green, and a person is distracted by whatever they’re engaged in on their phone, and disrupts traffic. Disrupting the harmony of traffic makes you more prone to become a victim of road rage. Just wait til you’re parked or out of the car before you use your phone.
I’ve seen many people driving, while looking down on their phone. It really pisses me off. These people are ignorant, and cause a lot of unnecessary accidents. Please do not be these type of drivers!
Three exceptions to using your phone while driving:
- Using GPS
- Playing music
- Hands-free conversation using Bluetooth
One more thing here… STAY OFF YOUR PHONE!!
Learn Alternate Routes
In my adventures as a ride-share driver, I’ve learned a lot of back roads, side cuts, and secret escapes traversing the Las Vegas strip. This is paramount for success. It saves time, avoids traffic congestion and chaos, and keeps you in a better mood.
A side bonus is, that you may actually discover a new place to check out. Whether it be a restaurant, coffee spot, or a park you may have never seen. Learning alternate routes can actually give your life more options!
Similarly, as a standard driver, learning all the roads, routes, and short-cuts can help you when in a hurry without having to speed or get caught in the traffic. Most people fall victim to these traps. But not you. You’re ahead of the curve now.
Give Yourself 5 Stars
Congratulations, you made it safely to the end of this ride. Hopefully you enjoyed and learned something from my tips along the way! One final note I will add, is to be nice.
Being positive and friendly will work in your favor. When I have experienced aggressive, angry drivers, giving them a smile and a wave has always seemed to defuse the situation. Positivity can be contagious, and the ones who don’t want to be exposed to it will flee from you.
If you’ve ever rated a driver poorly (even while personally driving), take into consideration if you are guilty of the same mishaps. And if you have rated a driver highly (whether Uber driver, friend, or family member), take notes, you just may learn something that will make you a better driver.
There are a lot of bad, selfish, angry drivers out there. Try to not be one of them!
Thanks for checking out my article. In the comment section below, add any driving techniques that have helped you or that you think others need to know to improve their and everyone else’s safety!