TicketSchool > Blog > Florida > How to Be a Better Driver in 2024
Smiling woman driver in eyeglasses fastens her seat belt before starting car. Driving safety concept

Set yourself up for one of the best New Year’s resolutions for 2024 and become a better driver with these easy-to-acquire safe driving habits and skills. Learn how to be a better driver in 2024 and stay safer on the busier highways in the coming year.

1. Start with Your Seat Belt

The safest thing you can do while driving is wear your seatbelt. Not only does wearing a seat belt reduce your risk of death in an accident by 45%, but it cuts the risk of serious injury by 50%.1 Front seat passengers endure the same safety risks as those in the backseats, so require all your passengers to buckle up. In many states, you can be ticketed for failure to wear your seat belt—but even if it is not required, it is one of the best ways for everyone to drive and arrive safely.

2. Eliminate Distractions in the Vehicle

Before you start your vehicle, take care of everything that needs adjusting. Check your side mirrors and put your phone in its hands free holder. Select music and adjust volume. Enter your destination into the GPS. Secure your beverage and complete your personal grooming. When you start the car and begin moving, paying attention to driving will help you avoid distracted driving tickets and accidents.

3. Adjust to Changing Weather Conditions

As the new year approaches, many parts of the country will have snow, ice, slush, fog, and heavy rains that change how your vehicle handles. The speed limit posted is intended for dry pavement and unlimited visibility. When bad weather hits, reduce your speed and adjust to the road conditions. Increase your following distance in slippery conditions or low visibility. If the weather gets too bad to drive safely, pull over as far as possible, turn on your hazard lights, and wait for the storm to pass.

4. Keep Your Car Well Maintained

You will be less likely to get into an accident if your car is running well, with good brakes, tires, shocks, and car battery. Breakdowns at high speeds or in heavy traffic make your vehicle an obstacle and increase the chance of a collision. Losing control because of vehicle breakdowns can steer you into oncoming traffic. Another feature of a well-maintained vehicle is a spare tire, jack, and emergency road kit. Keep these items in your vehicle at all times.

Close up image of inside the car of the hand pressing the horn on the steering wheel.

5. Remain Calm and Be Patient

Avoiding road rage is a two-way street. Be mindful of your own driving habits that might be misinterpreted as aggressive by other drivers. Merging aggressively, cutting people off, and honking at backed up traffic can all be seen as confrontational by other drivers. When these things happen to you, staying calm behind the steering wheel and refusing to take things personally is your best defense against dangerous driving behaviors you may encounter.

6. Maintain a Safe Following Distance

One of the easiest driving mistakes to make, and that you can eliminate as part of your safe-driving New Year’s resolution, is following too closely or tailgating. You should follow no closer than three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. If weather conditions are bad, or if your vehicle requires a longer stopping distance, increase this space as needed. At about 55 mph, when the car in front of you passes an object, you should pass it at least three seconds later.

7. Stay Alert Behind the Wheel

When you are driving, your reaction time starts when you recognize an obstacle or hazard. How soon will you see the lights of cars slowing down ahead, a bicycle in your lane, or a pedestrian crossing the road? Defensive driving is an essential skill that starts with being alert and aware of your surroundings. Practice paying attention to your mirrors and blind spots, and keep your eyes and mind active when you are behind the steering wheel.

8. Follow the Rules of the Road

To stay safe on the road in 2024 and keep your driving record clean, be aware of new traffic regulations and state laws where you drive. What is the speed limit on an unmarked city street? Who has the right of way at a 4-way stop? Can you turn right on red? Not knowing the answers to these questions can get you a hefty ticket or even cause an accident. Enrolling in a drivers improvement course or online defensive driving school can keep you up to date on traffic laws and safer in the new year.

Get Ready to Drive Safer in 2024

We can all have blind spots about our own level of driving skill. If you want to brush up on your skills, learn about new traffic regulations, or maybe save up to 10% on your auto insurance, completing a defensive or driver improvement course from Ticket School is what you need.

Ticket School driving courses are approved in many states for ticket dismissal, point reduction, or state mandate as a result of tickets or other infractions.  It can be the difference between keeping your license. Enroll now and get on the road to safer driving for the new year to come!