There are many great benefits to learning how to drive and if you have decided to take that step and learn how to drive, a big congratulations to you. As a beginner in driving, there are some things that you need to have at the back of your mind to make your driving experience a whole lot better.
Like we already pointed out, there are a lot of benefits to being able to drive. Nothing beats being able to go wherever you want and whenever you want without bothering about a means of getting there.
However, despite the fact that it is indeed a great feeling, it is in your best interest that you take note of the very helpful tips that we are going to be discussing in this article so that you can really enjoy the early stages of driving.
We will be doing this in two parts. The first one will be for those who are still learning how to drive while the second part will be for those who just got their driving license.
Useful Car Driving Rules and Techniques
1. Those Still Learning to Drive
For those that are still learning, we have driving tips that you will find very helpful. That you can drive the car a short distance or that you can park does not immediately translate to you being 100% ready for the road or for your driver’s license. It is in your best interest that you properly go through the tips that we have discussed below.
a. Become conversant with the Controls of your Car
Whether it is the car of the person teaching you how to drive or your own car, you need to master the main controls. This goes a long way in deciding whether you will be comfortable or not while driving. We have outlined some of the major controls that you need to master so you don’t miss any.
i. Learn to adjust the driver’s seat to suit you
You have to set the driver’s seat in a way that your visibility through the windshield will not be hindered. You also have to make sure that you are okay with the level of comfort you have while handling the steering wheel as well as the pedals. For instance you must not stretch your leg to its limit before you are able to hit a pedal.
ii. Learn to put on the heating fans
You should know how to put on the heating fans and set them to defog your windshield. It is important that you get the hang of this and that you do it before you drive off. The reason for this is that it is not safe to try to do it while you are driving.
iii. Learn how to adjust your mirrors
Mirrors here refer to your rear view mirror as well as your side mirrors. Best believe that you will want to have a good visual while you
iv. Master the lights
You should know how to turn the lights on, and how to adjust them from dipped headlights to full beams. If the car you are using is a modern car, this can be handled automatically. However, most cars still need this to be handled manually.
v. Another major control that you need to master is how to put on your windshield wipers, as well as how to handle signals and hazard lights.
B. Practice Makes Perfect
As long as you are still learning to drive, it will be in your best interest that you take the car out every day for practice. This does not necessarily have to be for long durations as you can practice for just about 15 to 20 minutes every day.
It will be really good to have an established “minimum” routine for each time that you take the car out. For instance, ensure that each practice session incorporates driving in traffic, driving at speed, parking practice etc. Steady practice will help you become better at driving really fast.
C. Switch it up
Earlier on, we spoke about how you should incorporate different driving skills every time you practice. Another thing you should try is varying your driving conditions and the routes that you take during each driving practice.
The reason for this is so that you will not have a hard time when you eventually take unfamiliar routes. Let’s face it, you will not always drive on routes or in areas that you are familiar with.
This is why it is important that you face different driving conditions for instance try driving in the rain. Master various parking conditions, take different roads, etc.
D. Don’t Give up when you make mistakes, learn from them
If you were already very good at driving then you wouldn’t need to learn. Expect mistakes and when they happen, don’t let it crush you. Instead learn from it and you would have learnt from it.
Do not feel embarrassed at every mistake you make instead always remember that you are learning to drive so mistakes are bound to happen. What matters is what you do after each mistake.
If you just get so defeated and give up then you wouldn’t know how to drive and you will miss out on all the benefits that being able to drive provides. However, if you learn from it and move on, you will be all the better for it.
2. Those that just got their License
Congratulations! You have gotten your license but before you zoom off we have something for you.
The first thing we will remind you of at this point is that you should try to not be overconfident. You are still a beginner so do not feel like you can do absolutely no wrong on the road.
At every point always try to remember what you were taught during your learning period and implement them in your day to day driving. You were not taught just for you to throw everything out of the window the minute you got your license.
That being said, we have put together some tips for beginners that you will find very helpful.
a. Stick to the Rules
Sometimes, some drivers who just got their license tend to ignore all the rules that they were taught about driving. Do not fall into this category otherwise you might develop bad driving habits that you might find difficult to break.
It is very important that you follow the rules so that you don’t become a danger to yourself and other road users.
b. Pay attention to the road
It is really dangerous to be driving when you are distracted. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of road accidents so do not take this lightly.
You must have heard a lot of times that it is wrong to text and drive, this is because it is distracting and can result in unpleasant consequences.
Try as much as possible to ensure that your handset, tablet and other digital device does not constitute a distraction to you while driving.
Whether you decide to plug it in to charge or you put it in a storage compartment ensure that your device is not in your hand. You can also make use of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto so that you can take calls safely.
C. Do not look down on Experience
It is not wrong to ask for help from time to time from more experienced drivers. When you are going through routes that you have not taken before, you can get someone more experienced to go on the ride with you and assist you whenever you need it.
You can also do this when you go to a new town seeing that you are not used to driving there yet.
However, make sure that you are taking note of every assistance or instruction that the experienced driver who went along with you offered. This is so that you can do better on your own the next time you go through that route.
D. Maintain a safe distance
Keeping a safe distance when driving, is not just for beginners but for all drivers. Always keep a safe distance and increase it when you are driving in a bad weather.
Also be on the lookout for highway exits and other indicators for your final destination.
It is important that we point out at this juncture that as a beginner, you shouldn’t be over dependent on the ADAS features of your vehicle.
We are not saying that smart cruise control is wrong for you but try to get the hang of maintaining distances manually first. This will help you become more aware of your on-road surroundings.
E. Be Adequately Prepared
Your car should always have necessary items in case of an emergency. Ensure that there are copies of documents to show ownership, vehicle registration and of course your driver’s license. These are very important for times when you get pulled over by the police or other law enforcement officials.
You also need a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies in case you get stuck in a bad weather. These items include warm clothes, blankets, water, a flashlight, a snow shovel (if required) as well as a tire puncture repair kit.
You never can tell when you will be in need of them so to be on the safe side, you need to always have them in your car.
F. Know About Car Maintenance
This is important if you want to really enjoy your car. You have to maintain it properly so that it can always be in the best state.
Start by going through the owner’s manual and studying the maintenance schedule. Take note of how often the OEM advises you to change the oil, check on the brake fluid, transmission fluid, amongst others.
You really need to know how to do some of the maintenance because there might be situations when it will not be easy or convenient to get a mechanic.
There is no doubt that if you take note of all that we have discussed so far in this write up, driving will be much easier for you and you will get really good in no time.