What’s the best piece of advice for a new driver, regardless of the location?

My dad's a CDL driver with just over 2,000,000 miles incident free. In addition to the joys of helping his non tech self do quarterly training online, the SMITH system they teach has always kind of stuck with me. Just general rules to follow while driving that make a big difference.

A way to remember is All Good Kids Like Milk:

Aim High In Steering: Always be planning for not just directly in front of you, but ahead on the road. You will end up catching so many things early. Aim for about 1/4 mile on the highway and a few city blocks when on major roads. Things like someone stalled on the side of the road to move over for, the flashing of the crosswalks to know if you might be approaching a light ready to turn or a lane closure coming up.

Get the Big Picture: Is someone rapidly approaching from behind and switching lanes, the individual next to you is on the phone, a tire is wobbling on the car ahead and looks like it may cause an incident. All these little things that you start to notice when you are looking for them.

Keep Your Eyes Moving: Train yourself to always be scanning your surroundings. Check your mirrors every 7-10 seconds and it just becomes natural. Don't focus on just the space in front of you, if there is a high box truck or other obstacle, give yourself a bit of following distance where you can safely see the road ahead of just whatever vehicle is in front of you.

Leave Yourself an Out: Don't box yourself if with all of the other cars. Leave a bit of room when you pull up on someone at a light in case they break down or can't move from the lane. When coasting on the freeway, try to find your spot between the packs of cars all herded together and jockeying for every available inch. That way when someone comes into your lane or you have to make an evasive move for whatever reason you have the room to do so.

Make Sure They See You: Use your indicator, your horn, other available ways to give that other driver who is not paying attention more of an opportunity to see you. The amount of new cars I see on the road that should go back to the dealership for not coming with blinker fluid is amazing.

/r/AskReddit Thread