Are you learning how to drive? Congratulations on this rite of passage! The ability to get behind the wheel can be thrilling, but driving can also be hazardous and stressful. When you learn to drive, these new driver tips will help you stay safe.
1. Take lessons.
Driving lessons can help make you a smarter, better driver. It might even help you get a discount on your auto insurance policy. Take a closer look at different options, and sign up for lessons before you put in to get your license.
2. Practice makes perfect.
Don’t just practice your driving in empty parking lots. You need to know how to navigate onto a busy freeway, change traffic lanes, drive around town, and drive a car under different weather conditions. Even though we don’t recommend going out in a winter storm, you want to get used to driving in different situations. If there is something you don’t feel particularly confident with, practice it even more with careful supervision until you have overcome enough of your doubts to drive safely.
3. Minimize distractions.
Some people feel calmer as they play music when they are driving. Others are distracted by their favorite tracks. Know yourself, and don’t take any risks. If you want to play music, set it up before you leave the driveway. Do not mess about with your controls and playlists while you are driving.
4. Do not drive under the influence.
The last thing you want is your first dui before you have even got your license, so do not take narcotics or prescription drugs that may impair your driving skills or drink any alcohol before taking control of a car. If you have, hail a cab instead!
5. Look all around you.
A common mistake that many people make is only looking at the vehicle in front of them. Don’t. Keep an eye on the traffic ahead of them and identify possible hazards. Scan behind you regularly as well, to make sure no one is tailgating you.
6. Don’t tailgate.
Tailgating is rude, it is perilous, and is the cause of most rear-end impacts. Several states are now passing laws that make tailgaters instantly accountable for their actions. There is an excellent reason for this: if you are too close, the odds of you hitting the car in front of you are much higher.
7. Keep an eye on your blindspot.
It is easy to look directly ahead and overlook a stop sign, a traffic light, or a speed limit sign. These are not the only things you need to look out for, however. Hidden driveways, children playing, and other warning signs are there for a purpose: to warn you of a potentially hazardous situation ahead of you.
8. Drive defensively.
No matter how skilled a driver you are, there is always a possibility that someone else could hit you. Keep an eye on the other vehicles on the road. If someone is accelerating or drifting in and out of traffic, get as far away from them as possible. Put a few car lengths between you and the driver in front of you when you are on the highway. It gives you time to respond if they lose control of their vehicle.