POWER OF DATA BLOG

Habits

Changing Driver Behavior
Jun 13/2016 Published by:

What is a habit? The simple definition is: “Something that one is used to doing; part of a routine; a behavior pattern.”

I watched “The Big C” on Showtime the other night, and one of the characters mentioned that it takes 28 days to break a bad habit. I started thinking that this made no sense. Sure, there are bad habits, good habits and some in between; after all, habits define, in part, the person we are. But, break a bad habit in 28 days? Hmmm… Can a smoker give up cigarettes in 28 days? Not going to happen! Can I change some of my driving habits in 28 days? Perhaps.

I started looking for simple bad habits I could tackle. After all, a habit is simply a matter of routine. I noticed many drivers around me had found a way to save money on the purchase of their new vehicles by forgoing the option of turn signals. As I grumbled about it, my spouse pointed out that I had failed to signal at the last turn. I thought about this. At that last turn, there had been no one behind me and no one in front. Had it seemed like a wasted effort? A savings of time? If so, this meant I had several patterns to one element in my signaling turn habit. What changes could I do to make me a better driver?

I set out to establish a change in the multiples habit. I decided I would signal every time – whether in a hurry – or especially when it wasn’t really needed. In short, just as I had done it for my on-the-road driving test. I focused, and consciously did, this for four weeks straight – without fail. Then. I asked my wife to try to note any time I failed, and gave it no further thought. She did not find one instance. Next, I focused on my “California Stop.” You know, that quick slowing (as I glanced for oncoming traffic) and roll-on-through the intersection, drivers have gotten in the habit of doing. For four weeks I focused on stopping before the stop line, long enough to spell s-t-o-p in my head, and then started up again. I did this in the car, on the bike and on my roller blades. It did not matter, even when I was in the desert and no other car was around for miles. Even when my cycling friends would roll through a stop and laugh at me, I stopped, spelled s-t-o-p and then started up again. Now, they follow me. Now, others smile or clap. Me, I do not think of anything but driving my vehicle.

Am I a better driver? (We’re all perfect drivers, right?) Am I a more efficient driver? Am I a more courteous driver? Perhaps. But what I really have become is a driver with more processing power or attention to focus on driving – on knowing what is going on around me at all times. A driver who is rarely cutoff or surprised, as I am fully aware of everything around me. I am driving. I arrive in the same time frame. Best of all? I am relaxed as I drive.

Now, I think I will try this on another area of habit. Will you?

###

Michael Richter has been with DriveCam for five years and is a Senior Technical Support Engineer. In his job, he has seen repeated poor driving habits and the results of those habits. He admits to not being a perfect driver, but works at becoming one as a result of what he’s seen firsthand. Every vehicle in his extended family has a DriveCam video event recorder, with the primary intent of improving every family member’s driving.


Related Tags

Driver Coaching Driver Safety

Related Blog Posts

Sep 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Changing Habits by Retraining Muscle Memory

Staff Writer

Sep 03 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Risk is a Consequential Matter

Staff Writer

Sep 01 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Innovation as a Business Focus

Staff Writer

Aug 20 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

What Professional Drivers Learn From Their Coaches

Staff Writer

Jul 24 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Big Data, Better Drivers

Staff Writer

Feb 25 / 2015Changing Driver Behavior

Why Cheaper Gas Prices Could Put Your Safety At Risk

Staff Writer

Nov 03 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Adjusting to Standard Time

Del Lisk

Sep 15 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Driver Appreciation Week

Staff Writer

Sep 05 / 2014Changing Driver Behavior

Distracted Driving Forecast: Sunny with a chance of collision?

Del Lisk

Nov 02 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Lytx: The Power of Data Blog

Staff Writer

Apr 04 / 2013Changing Driver Behavior

Video Telematics: Seeing is Believing

Del Lisk

Aug 13 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

What Will Really Deter People From Engaging in Distracted Driving?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jul 25 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

There are No Short-Term Initiatives … that Work!

Del Lisk

Mar 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Is Distracted Driving Getting Better or Are We Getting Better at Hiding our Distractions?

Dr. Jeffrey Hickman

Jan 26 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Following Too Closely

Del Lisk

Mar 15 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: The Most Common Risky Driving Behaviors

Del Lisk

Dec 22 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Looking Farther Down the Road

Del Lisk

Nov 23 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

One Simple Step to Reducing Truck Crashes

Del Lisk

Oct 24 / 2010Changing Driver Behavior

Blind Trust

Del Lisk

Jan 03 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Fleet Safety: Danger in the Parking Lot

Del Lisk

Feb 01 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Make Driving a Game

Del Lisk

Oct 10 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

Safety Culture: What is it and How does it Affect Fleet Safety?

Global Administrator

Sep 09 / 2012Changing Driver Behavior

Thank a Truck Driver (or two)

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2011Changing Driver Behavior

The Dangers of an Open Lane

Del Lisk

May 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Retraining to Retain Your Drivers

Staff Writer

May 25 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Taking the Risk Out of One of the Riskiest Professions

Staff Writer

Jun 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

From 190 to 1 in a Blink of an Eye: Managing the Heinrich’s Pyramid Challenge

Staff Writer

Jun 03 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Not All Distractions Are Created Equal: Why Even Hands-Free Can Lead to Collisions

Staff Writer

Jun 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Who – or What -- Does the Heavy Lifting to Improve CSA Scores?

Staff Writer

Jul 07 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Top Three Things Fleet Managers Can Do to Proactively Manage Their Safety Program

Staff Writer

Jul 27 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Choosing the Right Program, Featured

Using Data to Prioritize Your Fleet’s Safety Issues

Staff Writer

Jul 29 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Driving for the Limits of Automated Technology

Brandon Nixon

Aug 24 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Unsafe Drivers Are Often the Biggest Fuel Offenders

Staff Writer

Sep 26 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: The Dangers Lurking Inside Your Fleet

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Hallmark of a Successful Video-based Safety Program

Staff Writer

Nov 01 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Fleet Safety: Putting a Stop to Rolling Stops

Staff Writer

Nov 09 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 1: Manual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 15 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Three Types of Distracted Driving – and How to Solve Them – Part 2: Visual Distractions

Staff Writer

Nov 23 / 2016Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Distracted Driving Behaviors – and How to Solve Them – Part 3 Cognitive Distractions

Staff Writer

Jan 10 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Three Things That Put Teeth in Your Safety Policy

Staff Writer

Feb 01 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Effective Video Review: Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Feb 28 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

High-Efficiency Driving: Five Driver Behaviors that Reduce Cost

Staff Writer

Mar 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Part 2: Using DriveCam® Event Data to Drive More Effective Coaching

Staff Writer

Apr 14 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part One: Levels of Automation

Staff Writer

Apr 18 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Autonomous Vehicle Essentials You Need to Know Part Two: Impact on Drivers, Fleets and the Industry

Staff Writer

Jun 07 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Swift Guide to Better Coaching

Staff Writer

Jun 30 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

A Practical Guide to Difficult Conversations: How to Coach Through Conflict

Staff Writer

Jul 06 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Why Putting Positivity Behind Your Training Program Will Pay Off

Beth Geraci

Aug 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Driving in the 21st Century, Featured

Fear of Autonomous Vehicles – Loving of Autonomous Features

Staff Writer

Aug 31 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Is Your Rewards Program a Bust? Liven It Up Through These Great Alternatives

Staff Writer

Sep 15 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Components of Effective Accountability Systems

Staff Writer

Sep 22 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

What’s Out There: Three Rewards Programs That Work

Staff Writer

Oct 19 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

The Worst 'Crash' Ever

Staff Writer

Oct 24 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Can We Reverse the Trend of Road Fatalities? New Figures Give One Safety Official Hope.

Beth Geraci

Nov 03 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Daylight Saving Time: More Light Has a Dark Side for Road Safety

Beth Geraci

Nov 16 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Five Sources of Aggressive Driving and What You Can Do About It

Staff Writer

Nov 29 / 2017Changing Driver Behavior, Featured

Gunning It: Six Hard Facts on Why Hard Accelerations Should be Avoided

Beth Geraci