1. Not parking neatly - it's inconsiderate to others, and you risk damage to your car from other people.
2. Riding the clutch - keep your foot off the clutch unless you're actually changing gear. You need your foot as a brace, and you'll prematurely wear the clutch if you ride it.
3. Taxi stops - coming to a halt with lots of brake pressure on so the car rocks back on its suspension as you stop. Horrible.
4. Fondling the gear lever - if you're not actually changing gear, your hand shouldn't be anywhere near the gear lever. Blokes love this for reasons we'd best not explore. If you think you might need to quickly change gear to deal with an unexpected situation you are wrong - firstly you should observe such that those situations don't happen, and if they do, you'll react with steering wheel and pedals, not gearshift.
5. Unnecessary stops - the mark of a driver who isn't observing what's happening, and then you're just wasting fuel and brake pads.
6. Holding the steering wheel wrong - hold it at a quarter to three (not 10 to two) so you have good control, and don't hook your hands inside the rim as you'll be injured in the event of an airbag going off.
7. Harsh driving when cold - rough, harsh driving is bad at any time, but especially so when the car is cold and not well lubricated.
8. Following too close - not only can you then not react in time to problems, you also can't see problems developing. You don't get there any quicker, so settle down and back off.
9. Bad observation - Being surprised by things when you could and should have seen and predicted them from a long way back. Sooner or later you'll have an accident.
10. Being distracted - not focusing on the drive and these days that's usually mobile phone use. There's a reason it's an offence.
And the worst sin of all?
Not improving, and blaming others for everything. Every time you drive you will make mistakes, and you need to recognise them, identify the problem and improve.
Even if it "wasn't your fault" - could you have done something to avoid the near miss?
Good drivers ask themselves that question as they know there's no point having "I was right" on their tombstone.
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Also read: Tips for Driving Safely in the Hills
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