Tips for New Drivers

 

Way to go! You have made it through Driver's Education and passed your driving test. Now you are probably anxious to get behind the wheel and get on the road. There are a lot of things to keep in mind before you get on your way. We have put together a smart and helpful list of 15 tips for new drivers taking the road.

15 Tips for New Drivers

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1.     Practice. For new drivers, getting behind the wheel can be a nerve-wracking experience. Taking time to practice driving with a parent is a good way to gain more confidence as a driver. Practice changing lanes, merging onto highways, and driving in various weather conditions.

2.     Use and Adjust the Mirrors. Drivers should use the mirrors to be aware of the cars around them and other surroundings. This is important because it helps drivers see when other cars are trying to pass. Make sure there aren't cars too close to you. Adjust the mirrors so you can see potential traffic coming.

3.     Watch Your Blind Spot. The blind spot is the area that drivers can't see through the mirrors. Check your blind spot by turning your head when making lane changes to make sure it is safe to change lanes.

4.      Avoid Distractions. Distractions include phones, food, drinks, and music. Distracted driving increases the chances of causing an accident. If you are going to listen to music, start playing it before you start driving.

5.      Keep a Safe Distance. Make sure that there is a big enough gap between you and the car ahead of you. If there is not a big enough gap, the odds of you hitting the car ahead of you become much higher.

6.      Obey Signs and Laws. It is important to wear your seatbelt and to be aware of stop signs, traffic lights, speed limits, and pedestrians. Failure to disobey signs and laws can result in car accidents and fines.

7.      Watch for Other Drivers. Drive defensively. Don't assume that other drivers are behaving responsibly. There is always a chance that other drivers can hit you. Watch for cars that are speeding, distracted, weaving, or losing control. If you see another driver acting like this, it is smart to keep a far distance from them.

8.      Drive Slow. It is okay to drive under or at the speed limit. Speeding is one of the leaders in car crashes involving young drivers, as well as the main causes of being pulled over.

9.      Use Blinkers. Turn signals and other indicator lights are used to communicate your intentions to other drivers. Failure to use blinkers can cause accidents and is generally considered discourteous.

10.  Drive on the Right, Pass on the Left. Drivers should only use the left lane when passing other cars. If you are not passing another car, drive in the right lane. After passing a car, switch back to the right lane when there is space to switch safely.

11.  Don't Drive Under the Influence. Don't do it. Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication is illegal and one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. There are severe, life-altering consequences for driving under the influence.

12.  Be Aware of the Road Conditions. Various types of weather conditions can make driving more difficult. Rain, snow, and wind can cause difficult driving conditions. It is important to take extra caution when these conditions are present to keep yourself and other drivers safe. Drive slow, brake early, and turn on headlights. If the conditions are severe, stay off the roads if possible.

13.  Be Prepared. It is smart to make sure that your car has an emergency kit, extra food, warm clothes, and proper driving documents in case of an accident or other emergencies that cause you to spend more time in your car.

14.  Drive Comfortably. Adjust your seat, steering wheel, and mirrors before you start driving. Being uncomfortable can cause a distraction and make you lose focus on the road.

15.  Know your Vehicle. Be able to understand all the controls of the car. Know how to turn on the headlights, use windshield wipers, and use turn signals. It is also smart to know what the lights and symbols mean on the dashboard.