You did it! You are now a proud owner of a driver’s license, and you’re now ready to get out into the world as a full-fledged driver. It’s fascinating, yes, but at the same time, it is a huge responsibility. After all, it’s not just your safety that you are responsible for, but also your fellow drivers on the road.
Indeed, driving should be done with the utmost care. Otherwise, there may be dire consequences. As a beginner driver, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind. Drive safely, consistently, and soon you’re on your way to becoming more confident behind the wheel.
Keep a Firm Grip on the Wheel
This is literally what controls the car, so this is what you want primarily to keep control of when driving. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always have a tight grip on it, just enough for you to be able to control it, so you don’t swerve or make poor turns.
That said, you should keep your hand on the wheel. Don’t text and drive. Adjust your settings before you even pull out of the driveway. Make sure you’re comfortable in your seat and that you can adequately see your side mirrors from your position. Set your navigation to your destination before heading out, not only to have a good idea of how long it will take you to get there but also so you don’t need to fiddle with it while you’re already driving.
Wear Your Seat Belt
This is common knowledge, but it’s worth repeating every time. Always wear your seat belt. Make sure it’s securely locked in before driving off. This is not negotiable. There’s no reason for you to take off your seatbelt, especially while you’re driving. If you drop something on the floor and need to pick it up, wait until you get to the shoulder of the road before you unlock it to retrieve whatever it is you dropped.
If your car’s seat belt mechanism is damaged or broken, get it repaired or replaced immediately. What’s important is that you have a fully functioning one to keep you safe in your seat while on the road.
Go Easy on the Pedals
There’s no need for you to floor the gas pedal. Make sure your foot is planted firmly on the pedal before stepping down on it gently. You want the car to get moving slowly, coming from a full stop, and then gradually ease into increasing your speed.
Meanwhile, you should also do the same when stepping on the brakes. Stepping on the brakes too hard, too fast, could cause much discomfort, even whiplash, to you and your passengers. It could also surprise the driver behind you, and if they don’t react on time, it could lead to a fender bender. That said, remember to maintain a reasonable distance from the car in front of you, precisely to avoid this kind of situation. Observe their signals, switch lanes, or put the brakes on if they’re making a turn.
Stay on Your Lane
There’s a lot of patience required in driving. Avoid switching lanes unnecessarily just because the one you’re on isn’t moving as quickly as you would like. If you must switch, make sure that there are no oncoming cars on the lane you intend to move to.
Don’t just rely on your side mirror as it has blind spots. Quickly and carefully, peek behind you to make sure you can make the switch carefully. Do not hesitate. Speed up if you must, and then maintain a safe speed as you complete your transition.
Good luck, have fun, and stay safe!