Driving with a certified instructor sitting next to you is a piece of cake. Yet, how confident are you about driving without supervision? Driving lessons do provide you with most skills you need but still, some things require – practice. To make your first solo rides smoother and safer, we compiled a list of the 5 driving tips for beginners.
By following these simple tips, you will become a well-versed driver in less time, without stressing out. These will help you learn to feel the wheels and handle even the trickiest road situations with confidence. Without further ado, let’s get down to things that can help you, as a young driver, gain some important practice soon after you get your driver’s license.
1. Understand the Controls in Your Car Beforehand Hitting the Road
Driving a car you are not almost fully comfortable with can get you in trouble on the road. No car is the same and you should get familiar with the controls of your vehicle as much as you can before driving it.
Most people think the car they used to drive in driving lessons is quite similar to their own cars. That is a huge mistake. Even if you have a car of the same brand, maybe even the same model, you should inspect your four-wheeler well before sitting behind the steering wheel.
These controls include locks, air conditioning, seat controls, defrosters, windows, etc. Believe it or not, the owner’s manual would be of great help here. Although you can find most info on the internet, make sure to read this little book. You won’t believe stuff you can find there about your car.
You should learn more about the gauges, light controls, and lever as well.
2. Look as Far as Possible Down the Road
One of the mistakes even experienced car drivers make (which means you are about to make it the first time you sit in the driver’s seat) is looking in front of your car only. Of course, you should have a clear idea of what’s happening in front of you but it is even more important to look down the road.
When you don’t have the big picture of the road, you will be more prone to causing accidents. Try to keep track of what is in front of you, especially if there are cars in your lane, but also try to understand what is happening at 100 or 200 feet ahead.
3. Be Extra Careful About Distractions
Distracted driving includes talking or texting while driving but also drinking, eating, and talking to other passengers. Yup, distracted driving goes far beyond being on the phone.
Some of the most common distractions include smoking (even lighting or putting the cigarette out), moving objects (pets, insects), adjusting the A/C, adjusting the radio, etc.
When you are behind the steering wheel, you should focus on the road solely and try to mute all of the things that can make you lose control. Sometimes, you don’t even have to be distracted by something or someone else. In other words – your mind can be your biggest distraction. If you let your thoughts preoccupy you while driving, you can cause a collision or get off the road, which all can lead to injuries, or, even worse – deaths.
Technically, if you are paying attention to anything besides the road, you are risking your safety and the safety of other people. You are responsible for controlling these distractions. Don’t answer your phone or shut it off, eat and drink before or after you sit in your car, and try to explain your friends/family you don’t want to talk to them while driving.
4. Ignore Tailgating
As a new driver, you should accept tailgating as it is or ignore it completely. It is an inevitable occurrence when you are on the road but don’t let it stress you out. What is more, living in a metropolitan area means being tailgated a couple of times in a minute.
If you take tailgating as a challenge to speed up, you might cause an accident or get a speeding ticket. Do you know what a speeding ticket means for new drivers? Penalty points or ending up disqualified from driving. Are you fine with losing your license straight away after you’ve got it just because you got intimidated by tailgating?
It is important to mention you should slow down if you see a car in the lane next to you is slowing down. Maybe you can’t see the actual reason for this but they can. Whether it be an animal crossing the road or a pedestrian, follow their lead instead of just passing.
5. Check the Intersections
We know – you are all excited about driving your car but try not to get overwhelmed, especially at intersections. There are numerous red-light runners out there that risk their own lives but the lives of other passengers, too. You should be extra careful about the intersections when you are the first vehicle at a stoplight.
Although the light turned green, you should still look both ways for a second, just to make sure there are no other vehicles coming your way. Trucks pose the biggest threat, as sometimes, drivers are unable to stop at the traffic light and things can get quite nasty.
This also means you shouldn’t rush things but stop at the red light instead of running through it. Did you know the greatest deal of accidents at intersections occur within the 5 seconds after the red light turned on?
You’ve dreamed about that driving license your whole life. It is totally understandable you are super-excited beforehand and during each drive. Does it make you feel free? Are you confident when behind the steering wheel? Absolutely!
Yet, you should take into account these 5 driving tips for beginners we listed above if you want to ensure memorable and, overall, safe rides. If you follow our advice, you will have an unforgettable experience as a new driver and gain some practice almost naturally.