Advanced driving courses from Bespoke Driver Training

How to build better driving habits

Mark Kendrick Motoring - general Leave a Comment

If you’ve trained with us before, you’ll likely remember “The 8 habits of safe drivers”. For us, they are the building blocks of safe driving.

Becoming a better driver involves identifying those habits that you have, good and bad. Then it’s a case of nurturing the good and banishing the bad. It’s also helpful to recognise which good driving habits you don’t yet have.

Doing difficult things isn’t difficult if you’ve habituated them. But how can we simply and painlessly drive new habits home? Well, James Clear wrote about this in his book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”. Handy.

Make it obvious

Vagueness is the enemy. Clear intentions are key. Habit stacking helps.

“I want to enhance security whilst driving” is too vague. Having a clearer intention increases the odds of sticking it out. For example, “After taking my seat, I will lock the doors.” In this example, the new habit (of locking the doors straight away) is paired with an existing habit (of, er, taking one’s seat). This is habit stacking.

Make it attractive and satisfying

In addition to a clear intention, how do you get yourself to want to do it? Bundle temptation and reward, that’s how.

James Clear tells the story in his book of a savvy engineer who loved Netflix but hated exercising. So, being a clever engineer, he wrote a computer program that would only allow Netflix to play if his stationary bike was cycling above a certain speed. Bingo!

Bundle something you enjoy with a new habit that you want to build and you’ll find you’ll do it more often. If you want to get into the habit of locking your vehicle’s doors as soon as you take your seat, and, like me, you like Extra Strong Mints, reward yourself with a mint the moment you lock your doors (but not if you forget). Tasty.

Make it easy

Becoming a brilliant driver doesn’t happen overnight. However, building better driving habits helps, and it’s easier if you start small. Don’t aim to be Transporteinto Jason Statham overnight. Start with locking the doors as soon as you take your seat. Then, munch mint. A reminder might help to ease you into it – write your clear intention on a Post-it-note and, er, post it on the driver display behind the steering wheel.

Conclusion

Good drivers have good habits. Bad drivers have, well, you know.

Building better driving habits need not be difficult. But how do you maintain good habits? Drive them home by making them part of your identity.

Are you the type of person who wants to be a better driver or are you a careful driver who always locks their doors?

Resources

>     James Clear’s book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.

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