Congratulations! If you are reading this, you (or a loved one) have decided to go ahead and learn how to drive. Today we’re gonna talk about some helpful tips and tricks for new Drivers .
Before You Drive – Drivers
The first thing you want to do when learning to drive is to familiarize yourself with the car. You should understand what everything in your vehicle does before even entering it. As a new driver, you don’t have to be an expert, but know what all of the knobs do before you start using them.
On that note, you should also know basic car maintenance. You do not need to be a master automotive technician, but you should know how to change a tire, pop the hood, change a light bulb, jump a battery, add oil and coolant to the car, and understand what all of the dash warning lights mean.
Now that you know what everything does, hop in the vehicle. Adjust your seat so you are comfortable. Make sure you can reach all of the pedals, the wheel, and everything else you will need while driving. Make sure your seatbelt fits properly. Then, familiarize yourself with the gas and brake pedals. If driving a manual, also familiarize yourself with the clutch and shift gears.
Always check your mirrors and make sure they’re adjusted correctly before you start driving. You do not want to discover your mirror is off when you really need it the most. Be sure you’re seated in the position you will be when driving the vehicle. Adjust your side mirrors to where you can’t see your car in them, this helps eliminate blind spots.Rear view mirror should be adjusted so you can see all of your back window.
Wear your seatbelt the correct way at all times. Do not let anyone in the vehicle not wear their seatbelt or wear their seatbelt improperly.
It’s a great idea to have an emergency road kit somewhere in your vehicle before you get out on the road. Some good items to have are jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries for the flashlight, a first aid kit, and a car escape tool. There are many different sets for purchase, if that’s an easier route for you.
On The Road
Once you’re out on the road, make sure to always keep your eyes on the road. Little things like reaching for something out of a bag in the passenger seat can cause fatal accidents. No distractions are the best distractions.
Speaking of distractions, do NOT text and drive. Not only is it illegal in many states, but it can also cause fatal accidents. The message can wait until you are stopped.
Watch the tallest vehicles in front of you. They usually have the best view, so if you see them all changing lanes, it’s probably in your best interest to start changing lanes, too.
Make sure you’re getting the best view possible. Don’t just look or focus on what is directly in front of you. Make sure you see the bigger picture and pay attention to what is happening down the road.
One of the most important tips and tricks for new drivers is: Don’t worry about what other drivers on the road think. Don’t let anyone bully you into going faster than you are comfortable with. Tailgating will happen – ignore it. Trust me, the police pulling you over for speeding won’t care that the guy behind you was tailgating. Do not tailgate anybody else, either. Keep a safe distance of about two vehicles apart from other vehicles.
Highway driving can be very intimidating at first, but it is a skill you will eventually learn and be comfortable with driving on a daily basis. There are really no tips or tricks for this other than to practice as much as possible. Again, don’t be bullied into going faster than you are comfortable with but be aware there are limits for how slow you can go on the highway.
Be confident, but never feel too confident on the road. Just because you know what you are doing doesn’t mean the other drivers on the road with you know what they are doing.
A smart driver makes sure to look both ways before crossing a road, especially at night. Remember, you may know what you’re doing but other drivers on the road with you might not. Also, pedestrians can be harder to see at night, especially if they are wearing dark colored clothes.
This is one of my favorite tips for a new driver. Did you know you can lower your rear view mirror at night? Avoid the blinding headlights behind you by pulling the lever on your rear view mirror down. Don’t forget to push it back up when it’s light out again.
Use your hand brake regularly to keep it alive. The only exception to this rule is in very cold weather.
Always make sure to use your indicator signals and horn appropriately. Getting into the habit of using your turn signals when you very first start to drive is a wise habit to make.
Alcohol and driving is a leading killer in the United States. Whatever you do, just don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Calling a ride is so much better than never being able to call for a ride again.
When there is rain, try to be sure to keep your brakes dry. Go through puddles slowly and give brakes time to dry off after getting them wet. Dry brakes by pressing the gas pedal, then pressing the brake pedal a few times. Friction causes heat so water evaporates from the brake pads.
Excessive water can also cause your car to hydroplane. If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, do not panic. Immediately take your foot off the gas. Don’t brake. Braking can cause you to go into an uncontrollable skid. Steer straight and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel until you are free of the hydroplane.
Fog is dangerous because it cuts visibility down. Slow down more than normal.
Learning to drive is a process and practice is key. When becoming a driver, you experience a new level of freedom like never before. Take your time and enjoy it!