10 driving habits to avoid

Bad driving habits are easy to develop, but with a little knowledge and diligence, you can avoid them. Here’s what you should watch out for:

1. Driving too fast over speed bumps

Going over them too fast is not only uncomfortable, but could wear down your suspension, damage your exhaust or tires, and throw off your wheel alignment.

2. Driving with less than a quarter tank

Fuel pumps today are located inside the fuel tank. If the tank is consistently low, the pump can’t be cooled and lubricated by the fuel (as it’s designed to be). Over time, this means the fuel pump can overheat and become damaged.

3. Not stopping before shifting from reverse to drive (or vice versa)

This is hard on the transmission. Come to a complete stop first.

4. Avoiding basic maintenance

Servicing your vehicle according to your car’s manual means you are less likely to encounter problems on the road.

5. Tailgating

Driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front of you means you will likely not have time to stop suddenly if required. Follow the three-second rule, as outlined here by the Alberta Motor Association.

6. Being guilty of distracted driving

According to the CAA, distracted drivers are eight times more likely to be in a crash or near-crash event, as compared to non-distracted drivers.

And for those driving standard…

7. Riding the clutch

Resting your foot on the clutch means constant pressure is being applied, which may cause your clutch’s friction disk to slip and create unnecessary heat. This premature wear means you may end up having to replace the clutch.

8. Resting your hand on the gear shift

The weight of your hand and its elevated position will add extra pressure to the gear shift. Eventually, your car could start jumping out of gear unexpectedly.

9. Riding your brakes

Braking constantly while going down a hill will cause your brakes to generate a lot of heat and wear out faster. Downshift if starting down a steep grade.

10. Skipping gears

Done incorrectly, skipping gears can damage your transmission and cause premature wear to the clutch. When downshifting, try rev matching (raising your engine speed to match the lower gear speed) to compensate.