Accelerating and braking smoothly for economy and respect for brakes etc. mostly, apart from overtaking / on ramps and merging etc
And NOT to follow to closely (3 seconds ideal - more in slippery / winter conditions)
- less likely to hit the car in front if it brakes / stops suddenly and have someone following and run into you. .
Manually Downshifting sensibly in right gear for speed ( in order not to overstress transmission )
to help car slow down with transmission (engine braking) to save overuse of brakes ( extend brake life - warped rotors etc )
Auto /CVT usually a in a gear too high for speed when slowing down.
Also Downshifting manually descending hills to save / assist brakes using engine braking as well, which is also better for maintaining control, especially in slippery and winter driving conditions.
Rule of thumb use same gear going down as for going up.
Driving this way will put you ahead of the brake riding jockeys who follow too closely (running on worn All Terrain tyres) and too fast for conditions, will be crashing once snow / ice arrives.
Following distance needs to be doubled (trebled in the case of ice)
Two types of good driving habits. The first is good driving habits on behalf of the cars sake, the second is good driving habits for everyone's sake! Three rules in my opinion, which are indicative of good driving habits:
For the cars sake:
1. As already mentioned, easy on the brakes and accelerator.
2. Avoid excessive idling.
3. Maintain your car per OEM specs.
For everyone's sake:
1. Keep right except to pass.
2. Turn signals are standard on all cars...use them!
3. Pick a speed and stick with it. Learn how to use your cruise control and USE IT!
coupla things that make me 'feel better' - no idea if they really help much
walk around the car occasionally and look at the tires. Get familiar with their appearance after proper inflation. If you aren't checking tire pressure every coupla fill-ups, this will at least alert you if a tire is dangerously low on air.
when the engine is cold - sitting for more than 4-5 hours or so, I 'try' not to drive away for 10-15 seconds after I start it. I want to be sure the bearings are getting flooded with oil before I pull away. I also don't rev it when I start it. It may rev due to the ECU boosting it, just don't zoom it up with your foot.
Do not hammer the car to redline until it is at full operating temperature. I 'try' to limit rpms to 3-4 K until the car is warmed-up.
Cruise control will allow you to speed-up. You can pass slower traffic, move over and drop back down to your 'set' speed. Don't be one of those drivers on the interstate that passes a truck at 2mph more than the truck's speed because you're afraid to 'lose' your cruise setting.
With great tires and/or AWD, you may be able to get moving easier than other cars on ice, but you CAN NOT stop any better.
Here’s a simple one. At a traffic light and the light turns green do not just mindlessly press the gas and proceed. Look to your left first and then your right as you ease forward. Pretend you’re on a motorcycle. It’s amazing how many folks just gas it and keep looking ahead never considering the possibility of being t-boned by a light runner.