Safety and Training
Like so many of the BCA articles I share, this is an example of a really common behavior: risking a calamity to avoid a marginally bad certainty. In other words, pilots accepting a 2% risk of death to avoid a 100% risk of moderate embarrassment. That's the wrong decision, but I won't tell you I know how to solve the problem. You want to not penalize people for making a "safer" decision, but sometimes that safer decision comes at the end of a chain of terrible decisions. If a pilot creates a mess by diverting to a major international airport, because they were low on fuel, you want to praise them for not pushing on into fuel starvation, but they also chose to get low on fuel. It's never an accident. It's a problem.
My students often think "road" when it comes time to simulate forced landings. Road (and beaches) are generally pretty bad choices. Roads are very, very often surrounded by power lines you won't see until it's too late. They're also teeming with 3000+ pound steel vehicles filled with people who didn't agree to assume the risks of general aviation. Pick something else. Even the roof of a large warehouse would be better.
This is already the SOP for many multi-pilot operations, but the idea of applying it more rigorously in a single pilot environment is a good one.
I know you all like list-icles. The first item on the list is stunningly obvious, and yet a pervasive problem for student pilots. Trim. If you're going to be applying an elevator pressure on the yoke/stick in the same direction for more than 5 seconds, trim it. (We can have a debate about whether this applies to steep turns, but I find steep turns easier with trim.) I'm sure I ask most students why they aren't trimmed off at least once every lesson. For some students, it's close to 10 times. Don't answer. It's a rhetorical question.