Are you a good driver?

Are you a good driver? Serious question.

Don’t answer just yet. Experts say it’s not how you feel about your skills — most surveys suggest people consistently overrate their driving acumen — but how other drivers feel about you. A recent study by CheapCarInsurance.net offers a clue: It says a full 19% of drivers are cut off by another motorist daily.

“If people are flipping you off and honking at you and flashing their brights at you all the time, you are doing something wrong,” says Walter Meyer, a veteran traffic safety consultant. “Are you driving too slow in the left lane? Are you failing to signal or take your turn? Yes, there are jerks who will honk at you or give you the finger for no reason, but if it is happening to you on a regular basis, then you are the problem.”

So, are you the problem? This is the right time to ask, when your spring break road trip is directly in front of you and, farther down the road, a long drive to reach your summer destination. It turns out there are a variety of ways you can evaluate your road skills.

Driverless cars for travelers: More questions than answers
Since I asked, let me answer the question. I’m on the road about 300 days a year, and I love to drive. I was taken aback when a friend recently handed me the keys to his car when I was staying with him. “You are the best driver I know,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t know anyone who drives as much as you do,” he said.

Aw, shucks. But I wouldn’t equate hours of experience with skill. I remember the last time I drove in Europe. I’m not quite sure why, but I was the guy getting honked at and cut off and other things that aren’t publishable.

As they say in German, Entschuldigung.

“A good driver actually makes the road safe for the bad drivers out there,” says Joe Giammona, CEO of the Driver Training Group, the parent company of two national driving schools.

There are objective ways of telling whether you are, by the way. One new way is HighwayHero, an app developed by Liberty Mutual. It tracks and scores driving behavior based on acceleration, hard braking, hard cornering, speeding and phone usage while driving. When the ride is over, the app offers feedback and scores you against other drivers. You can qualify for discounts.

I asked the company what the app had told it about how Americans drive. The results were encouraging on first glance. Overall, the average HighwayHero score among users is 84 out of 100, which is indicative of a good driver. The two biggest problem areas: speeding and phone use.

That’s right, people with a phone app that scored their driving and who knew they were being evaluated used their phone while driving.

You can get even more detailed data with an app called Automatic, which plugs directly into your vehicle’s diagnostic port. Dave Delaney, who runs a company called Owner Operator Direct, which sells truck insurance, likes the License+ companion app, a coaching tool designed for new drivers that rates your driving skills and allows you to work with a designated driving coach. It rates you against other drivers.

“It answers the question, ‘Am I really better than average — or do I just think that?’ ” Delaney says.

Most bad drivers can be rehabilitated, but not all of them. Two years ago, Mark Hughes found that his eyesight had deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t clearly see the road, thanks to macular and myopic degeneration.

“I quit driving cold turkey,” says Hughes, a retired college instructor and historian who lives in Kings Mountain, N.C. “My doctor asked me, ‘How many wrecks did you have?’ I replied, ‘None.’ ”

Good call. Driving is inherently risky. Why push your luck?

The three riskiest driving behaviors

• Drinking and driving. Most traffic-related deaths are caused by drunken drivers. Don’t drink and drive, and stay off the roads when drunken drivers are likely to be out and about, such as holiday weekends.

• Driving while tired. In a recent survey by Klashwerks, more than 5% of the respondents admitted to closing their eyes or sleeping while driving. Needless to say, sleeping and driving are incompatible.

• Speeding. A full 35% of drivers admit to driving fast, an activity known to increase the risk of an accident. Drive the speed limit, and you’re more likely to come home alive.

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend