Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by John Robinson
Like riding a bike, driving a car is a life skill that comes in handy in our everyday lives. However, driving is not as easy as it seems from the passenger seat. Beginners need a lot of care as they learn to drive for not only their own safety but also for many others on the road. A little carelessness and adventurism can be life-threatening and disastrous.
Today, I will give you the best car driving tips to make your journeys safe and convenient. These are what helped me when I started driving.
Top Things To Keep In Mind For Beginner Drivers
Know Your Car
After getting your license, buying your vehicle, and registering it through swift-tags, make sure you understand your vehicle.
For instance, you should have knowledge about steering wheel buttons, knobs on the dashboard, different drive modes, handbrakes, and so on. Furthermore, you should be aware of different driver assistance features that can really shock you. For example, if you have lane keep assist enabled and turn without activating the turn signal, the steering wheel might vibrate (different vehicles react differently), or you will get a loud sound.
In addition to basic functions inside the car, you should comprehend that driving an SUV is a lot different from driving a sedan or hatchback. Unlike sedans and hatchbacks, SUVs are heavy, bulky, and difficult to maneuver and park. Therefore, it is wise to pick your car according to your expertise.
Before You Start Your Journey
Make sure you put on your seat belts and ask other occupants to do the same. It is not only a necessity to minimize the likelihood of injuries in case of an accident but is also required by law. Position little kids on safety or booster seats and avoid placing baby seats behind the front seats.
Ensure to check and adjust your vehicle’s seat position, mirrors, steering wheel alignment, and hand brake before you start your journey. Avoid making adjustments during the drive because a little distraction can cause an accident.
General Driving Tips
Avoid one-hand driving: Never drive with one hand, even if you are an experienced driver. Beginners especially should keep both hands on the wheels, positioned at ’10-and-2′ or ‘9-and-3’.
Drive slow: ‘Speed kills’ is a phrase we often see on road signs. Beginners, especially teens, love to floor the pedal for an adrenaline rush. It won’t help them in the drive because the beginner’s reaction time is slow, so the chances of an accident are extremely high while driving fast.
Use turn indicators: Not using the turn signal appropriately causes many accidents every day. When you fail to activate the indicator while making a turn or overtaking a vehicle, the chances of rear-end collision increase manifold. Turn on the signal at least 100 feet before making a turn so that the vehicles behind know your next move.
Avoid cellphone usage: Taxing and calling while driving cause thousands of accidents every year across the world. While we all know how fatal cellphone usage is while driving, many people still make calls and even text while driving. Avoid calls and messages altogether during driving, but if you have to take an important call, park your car at the roadside and then attend to it.
Stay focused and calm: Beginners must keep a cool head and calm during the initial driving ventures. Yes, it is okay to be a little nervous, but that must not affect your driving behavior. A panicked mind can lead to a disastrous situation for you and others on the road. At the start, drive only shorter distances and move toward longer journeys when you feel more confident.
Overtaking, Turning, and Parking
- In the United States, you can overtake from the left. However, some states allow you to overtake from the right in case the car in front turns left on a two-lane road with no prohibition.
- You can turn right on the red signal if permitted and must halt and yield to vehicles before you go right.
- A yellow or red shaded curb or a diagonal white lined parking area means ‘no parking. Additionally, blue lines in the parking indicate it is for disabled people.
While every country has its own speed thresholds, countrywide speed limits are non-existent in the United States. Therefore, you should watch out for road signs and be vigilant about the speed of other drivers on the road. Understand that most roads have radars watching out for speed violators, so do not try to fool them.
- Normally, 25-30 mph is the speed limit in cities.
- The interstates and highways allow you to drive between 65 and 80 mph.
- The speed limit in educational zones is the least at 10-25 mph during the pickup and drop off times. The yellow warning lights impose these limits, but the red lights by school buses strictly prohibit you from driving past the school zone.