Things To Know Before Driving For The First Time
Getting behind the wheel for the first time can evoke a wide range of emotions in people. It can be exciting, or it can make people nervous. No matter how old you are, getting in the driver seat of a car for the first time can be quite intense and intimidating for many.
Those who are driving for the first time should first practice driving at a driving school. Driving schools are a great way to learn safe-driving practices and develop good driving habits that will last you a lifetime.
So, for all first-time drivers, here are a few tips that can help you have a better experience when you are behind the wheel.
Take Your Time
When you get in the driver’s seat, don’t rush. This step applies to all the drivers, whether it’s a first-time driver or a seasoned driver. Be comfortable before you start driving. First, make yourself comfortable – adjust the seat, the mirrors, the steering wheels and everything else that makes you comfortable and allows you to focus on your driving. When you start driving, start small and then slowly move up.
Do not start at first with the busier roads. Start with streets that are generally empty and gradually, you can start driving in busier roads. When you are driving, you always need to aware of the other drivers around you.
Safety is the priority when you are in the driver’s seat. So, always respect the traffic rules of your state and follow the speed limits. Also, avoid picking up any bad habits that you see in other drivers.
Practice makes perfect. So, before you book a test, you need to have a decent amount of practice. You can practice at a driving school. It is generally the best option since the training vehicles have a lot of safety features. The best time to practice is also during the early hours when there is less traffic on the streets. You can also practice during the afternoon when the morning rush hour subsides. With a driving instructor beside you, you will be much less anxious.
Usually, a couple of weeks of training is good enough, with an hour of driving each day. Make sure that there is not much of a gap between your course end date and the test date. If the driving lessons are still fresh in your mind, you will perform better during the tests.
Make Sure You Have All The Documents
When you are in the driving school, your instructor will check this for you. However, you need to make it a habit to keep all the relevant documents with you when you are driving. When you have your vehicle, you need always to keep your license and registration papers with you. Also, you should also keep your insurance documents with you in the car. The most recent pollution testing certificate should also be there with you all the time. If you are driving in a foreign country, you need to have your international driver’s license and your passport with you all the time.
Moreover, some other documents that you need to carry are the certificate of taxation, permit and fitness certificates. The latter two are needed in case you are driving a commercial vehicle. If you are getting behind the wheel for the first time at a driving school, it’s unlikely for you to possess all these documents.
Be Well Nourished
One of the most important things is to have a good sleep and a proper meal before you head for the driving school or the driving test. For seasoned drivers, driving is more like a reflex. However, those learning the skill need be to extremely alert and focused. Hence a good night’s sleep and a proper meal are necessary.
People falling asleep behind the wheel has been the cause of multiple accidents. Moreover, being hungry can also cause you distraction when you are driving. Make sure that nothing comes in your way when you are driving. Ensure that you do all the things needed to keep your focus on the road. Also, put your phone on silent or driving mode.
Learn To Look At The Mirror
It may seem trivial, but a lot of people do not keep an eye on the mirror. There are a lot of things that a driver needs to keep an eye on when driving the car. The road is the first thing that the driver must look at before anything else. Moreover, the driver should also have a look at the mirrors and the gauges. The mirror is quite essential when you are driving on the road. Knowing what is behind you is just as important as knowing what is in front of you when you are driving.
Get To Know Your Car
It is quite important to know your car well. The driving experience will vary a lot from vehicle to vehicle. You do not need to know everything in the specification sheet of a vehicle, but you should know the main points. By seeing a vehicle, you should be aware of the challenges that you may face when you are driving one. Does the vehicle come with a power steering? Does the car come with automatic transmission? Is there cruise control on the vehicle? These are the things that you need to know before you start driving a vehicle.
Learn The Cockpit Drill
The cockpit drill is something that your driving instructor will teach you when you first get in your car. Make sure that you memorize it well. This step is something that you need to start early on and something that will help you later. When you get behind the wheel, first make a mental list of things to check. Check if any of the car doors are open or not.
There will be a dashboard light for that. Check if you can reach for the pedals properly or not. Adjust the seat appropriately. Check if you are holding the steering correctly or not. Next, check your seat belts. Finally, adjust the mirrors, if needed. Once done, you can turn on your car and start driving.
Leave Sufficient Space
Make sure that you leave enough space in the front and rear of the car. While you are driving, make sure that you have enough braking distance in front of it. Rear ended collisions are the most common. Such accidents can easily be avoided by leaving a three-second gap in the front and the back of the car. Try to increase this distance when you are driving in bad weather. Vehicles may skid when the road is covered with snow or rainwater.
Get Rid Of All The Distractions
Finally, always be vigilant. When you are behind the wheel, you should always have an idea of what’s coming up. You need to scan the road and the rearview mirrors continuously to have a good idea of what can happen next. You need to see the indicator lights of other cars, traffic signals, traffic signs and a lot more. The more you drive, the more you will develop the intuition, will teach you what to expect and also make you more alert on the road.
Now, you are informed the ins and outs of driving. So, lets go to learn driving perfectly and make a fly with your car for the first time.