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Motorist issues

What kind of a driver are you?

Are you hesitant and slow on the road, or do you drive carelessly and fast? Do you drive defensively, or aggressively, or veer wildly between the two?

In terms of road safety it pays to know what kind of driver you are because your temperament and attitude will affect not only your road sense but also how other drivers respond to you.

Here's how to keep your driving in check

Zap aggressiveness

A Gallup poll found that 80% of UK drivers claim to have been victims of aggression on the road, such as drivers running red lights and tailgating. It pays to calm down, not only for the sake of your licence, but for your health too.

Drive defensively

This is a driving strategy that helps you cope with unpredictable and irrational drivers. It's based on watching the road ahead, anticipating what might happen and being in control, so you are always prepared for the unexpected.

Take extra care at night

Don't rely on other people's car lights to guide you, and drive more slowly. Most of all, be aware that the later it is the more you should expect other drivers to be tired and grumpy.

Expect other drivers to make mistakes

Expect other drivers to do the wrong thing sometimes and get in your way. They rarely do it on purpose, so keep your temper in check and keep your distance – even if it is your right of way.

Stop if you're tired

Playing loud music won't wake you up. Instead, stop for a 15 minute snooze and try two cups of caffeinated coffee. Decide if you are alert enough to continue before restarting the engine.

Be assertive with friends

Even if it feels uncomfortable to say "slow down", "calm down" or "don't drink and drive", your words could save their lives and your own.

Make your own decisions

Aggressive drivers are pushy drivers who will try to force you to take action. Don't let them dictate how you drive. Always ask yourself "Is it safe to move?", then decide what to do.

Follow the two-second rule

Pick a fixed landmark – like a road sign or a tree – and when the vehicle in front of you passes it, start counting "one thousand and one, one thousand and two". If you pass the landmark before you finish counting, you need to drop back. You should double the size of the gap in difficult driving conditions (like bad weather), or when towing.

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