Learning to drive a car? Here are essential car driving tips for beginners.
Learning something new is always a difficult task, whether it’s learning to play a musical instrument, a new sport, or even driving. The first few days of learning can feel overwhelming and daunting, but it’s important to remember that even famous racecar drivers like Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton had to start somewhere.
In this article, we will provide a list of basic tips to help beginner drivers during their initial phase of learning to drive a car.
Essential Car Driving Tips For Beginners (FAQs & Answers)
Here are questions to help us learn essential car driving tips for beginners.
1. What should I do if I get into an accident?
If you get into an accident, first make sure that everyone involved is okay and call for medical assistance if necessary. Then, exchange information with the other driver(s), including names, phone numbers, and insurance information. Take pictures of the damage to your car and any other cars involved, and contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
2. What should I do if I get pulled over by the police?
If you get pulled over by the police, pull over to a safe spot as soon as possible. Turn off your engine and roll down your window. Keep your hands visible, and don’t make any sudden movements. Be polite and respectful to the officer and follow their instructions.
If you’re issued a ticket, don’t argue with the officer at the scene. Instead, take the ticket and contest it in court if necessary.
3. What should I do if I feel drowsy while driving?
If you feel drowsy while driving, pull over to a safe spot as soon as possible and take a break. Get out of the car and stretch your legs, and consider taking a short nap if you’re feeling very tired.
Drink some water or have a caffeinated drink to help you stay alert.
If you’re on a long road trip, plan ahead and take regular breaks to avoid getting too tired while driving.
4. How can I improve my driving skills?
You can improve your driving skills by practicing regularly, taking driving lessons or defensive driving courses, staying calm and focused while driving, and learning how to handle different driving situations, such as driving in bad weather or on different types of roads.
5. How do I parallel park?
Parallel parking can be tricky, but it’s an essential skill to learn. Start by finding a space that is about one and a half times the length of your car. Pull up next to the car in front of the space, leaving about two feet between the cars. Turn your steering wheel all the way to the right and slowly back up until your car is at a 45-degree angle. Straighten out your wheels and back up until your car is parallel to the curb. Adjust your position if necessary and straighten out your wheels.
16 Essential Car Driving Tips For Beginners
What are the essential car driving tips for beginners?
1. Get Familiar With Your Car
One of the most important tips for beginner drivers is to become familiar with the vehicle they will be driving.
Before getting in the car and adjusting the various buttons and knobs, it’s crucial to understand their functions. This includes learning the purpose of each button in the car so that you know how to use them in different situations. It’s also important to understand the three primary pedals: accelerator, brake, and clutch.
A useful technique to remember these pedals is to associate them with the letters A, B, and C, respectively. Lastly, you should be familiar with the gear knob and the positions of the different gears. You can practice shifting gears while the car is turned off, but it’s essential to avoid doing this too much as it can damage the gearbox. Understanding the positions of all the gears can help you shift without looking at the knob while driving.
2. Check and make necessary adjustments before driving
One of the essential tips for beginner drivers is to check and make necessary adjustments before driving.
Unfortunately, many new drivers often overlook this step. Every car has the ability to adjust seats, mirrors, and even the steering wheel. These mechanisms allow you to optimize these components for your driving needs.
It’s crucial to adjust the seats so that you can comfortably access all the car’s controls, including pedals, steering, and gear lever. Some cars even offer the option to adjust the steering wheel’s rake and reach to achieve an ideal driving position.
Always make sure to adjust the mirrors, seat, and steering in a way that does not cause strain on your body while driving.
3. Adjust the Mirrors
Using mirrors is crucial to ensure safe driving, and it’s important to adjust them before starting to drive.
To begin, adjust the driver’s side mirror first. Ensure that the mirror is adjusted so that your car’s image does not occupy more than 10% of the field of view. Adjust both the driver’s and passenger’s side mirrors and then sit back in the driver’s seat to ensure that you can see the maximum possible road behind you.
It’s important to remember that only a small portion of the mirror should show the side of your car. Similarly, adjust the rearview mirror so that you have a clear view of the road behind you while comfortably seated in the driver’s seat. Always remember to make all necessary adjustments before starting to drive.
4. Understand the Basic Dashboard Controls/symbols
One of the essential tips for beginner drivers is to familiarize themselves with the dashboard controls and symbols, which give access to various features like air conditioning, wipers, and beam adjustment.
The dashboard also displays numerous symbols, which are primarily warning lights that indicate a malfunction in the car. However, some symbols signify the activation of a feature, such as a cruise control or high beam.
It’s crucial to understand that most symbols are actual warnings, ranging from low engine oil light to low tire pressure.
Furthermore, the color of the warning lights is significant; blue and green lights indicate that a feature is active, while orange, red, or yellow lights signal a problem that needs inspection. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to these dashboard symbols and respond accordingly to ensure safe and efficient driving.
5. Always wear your seat-belt
Seatbelts are often underestimated, but they are essential for saving lives. When you apply brakes suddenly or if the car collides with something, you could be thrown out of the seat, causing severe injuries by hitting various parts of the car, such as the steering wheel. However, seatbelts are there to protect you by restraining your movement and stopping you from hitting any object.
By securing the occupants in the seat, seatbelts prevent them from being thrown out and hitting the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel. Furthermore, seatbelts distribute the opposite force depending on the impact or braking force, providing protection for crucial body parts such as the head and spinal cord.
6. Hold the Steering Wheel Correctly
Learning to hold the steering wheel correctly is an important part of driving, as it allows you to control the direction of the vehicle. Before starting to drive, it is important to learn the appropriate way to hold the steering wheel.
The “10 and 2” method of holding the steering wheel is a commonly known technique. This involves placing your hands on the steering wheel at the positions where the numbers 10 and 2 would be on a clock. However, recent studies have shown that the “9 and 3” position is actually better for holding the steering wheel. This is because the “10 and 2” position can be dangerous in cars with smaller steering wheels that have an airbag.
7. Maintain Moderate Speed
The saying “learn to walk before running” is also applicable to driving a car. While it may be tempting to press down hard on the accelerator pedal and go fast, it’s important first to become comfortable driving at slower speeds. This allows you to develop better perception and reaction skills, which are crucial for driving at higher speeds.
Without improving your reflexes first, driving at high speeds can be extremely dangerous. It’s vital that you spend a significant amount of time practicing driving at slower speeds before moving on to faster speeds. This is a straightforward yet critical tip for beginners learning how to drive.
8. Use Signal Indicators
It is essential to use signal indicators while driving because they are one of the two ways to communicate with other drivers on the road. The other way is by honking your horn. To communicate effectively, it’s important to use both of these methods wisely and liberally when required.
In general, indicators should be used to inform other drivers of your intended change in direction. Some drivers have a habit of turning without indicating, while others may indicate too early or too late, leading to confusion among other drivers on the road. It’s crucial to turn on the indicator at least a few seconds before you intend to make a turn or change lanes to ensure that the drivers behind you can understand your intentions clearly.
9, Obey Traffic Rules
It is essential to abide by traffic regulations, which is an obvious fact. This will not only prevent you from facing any penalties but also guarantee a secure journey. There are several reasons why obeying traffic laws is highly significant. Primarily, traffic regulations are designed to minimize the likelihood of accidents and injuries. This is the primary rationale for formulating traffic rules.
Secondly, following traffic rules leads to a consistent approach among all road users, which allows for a seamless traffic flow. As everyone adheres to the same set of guidelines, there is minimal confusion, resulting in a decreased probability of accidents.
10. Learn how to switch lanes
Prioritizing planning before changing lanes is crucial. To begin, always indicate your intention to other drivers on the road by turning on your signal a few seconds before changing lanes. Then, check your rearview mirrors to ensure a safe distance from any cars behind you and to avoid any potential attempts to pass you as you switch lanes.
Once you confirm it is safe to change lanes, proceed with the lane change and turn off your signal once you are in the new lane. Keep in mind that thorough planning beforehand is the key element in this process.
11. Be confident and calm
It’s crucial to acknowledge that there is no driver who can claim to be perfect, whether they are a beginner or an experienced driver. Therefore, it’s always necessary to be cautious while driving. At the same time, it’s vital to be self-assured and composed.
Although being careful is essential, feeling at ease behind the wheel is equally important. Our recommendation is to be patient while acquiring driving skills and gradually build confidence as you gain more driving experience.
12. Avoid Distractions
It is crucial to keep your full attention on the road when you are operating a vehicle. If you drive while feeling upset or anxious, it can divert your attention away from driving and create a hazardous situation. As a novice driver, you must concentrate carefully on your driving maneuvers, and any distraction in your driving-related thoughts may lead to errors. Additionally, if you plan to drive, make sure you are well-rested and alert to your surroundings.
13. Do not tailgate
While drivers in foreign countries are taught to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, the opposite is true in some other countries where cars are closely packed on the roads. Unfortunately, many people choose to disregard this practice and drive as they please.
It is advisable, however, to maintain a distance of at least two cars from the one in front to ensure that you have enough space to avoid a collision if the vehicle in front suddenly swerves or takes an emergency maneuver to avoid an obstacle on the road. Developing this habit early on can be highly beneficial in the future.
14. Carry all Documents
One safe driving tip is to ensure that you carry all the necessary documents with you while driving. It is important to have your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance papers, and any other relevant documents easily accessible in case you need to present them to authorities.
This not only helps you avoid legal trouble but also ensures that you have all the necessary information in case of an accident or any other emergency situation.
15. Keep Practicing
Gradually increasing the level of effort is recommended, as sudden movements of the steering wheel or accelerator can lead to a loss of control and put you in a hazardous situation.
Neglecting the fundamental principles of driving for beginners can also heighten the chances of accidents. Therefore, it is best to increase your level of effort slowly, and through practice and some trial and error, you will eventually find the ideal level of input that will become second nature over time.
15. Prepare for emergencies
As a beginner driver, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies on the road. Here are some tips to help you be prepared:
- Keep a basic emergency kit in your car. This should include items like a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, a spare tire, and a tire iron.
- Know how to change a tire. Practice changing a tire before you have to do it on the side of the road.
- Keep a charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies.
- Know how to contact emergency services, such as 911, and keep the numbers for towing and roadside assistance services handy.
- Learn basic car maintenance skills, such as checking your oil level and changing your windshield wiper blades.
- Check your car’s fluid levels, tire pressure, and brakes regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
- If you break down on the side of the road, pull over as far to the right as possible, turn on your hazard lights, and call for assistance.
- If you are involved in an accident, check to make sure that everyone is okay and call for emergency services if necessary. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved and take photos of any damage.
Remember that being prepared for emergencies on the road is not only important for your safety but also for the safety of others around you.
In conclusion, essential car driving tips for beginners include following traffic rules and signals, keeping a safe distance from other cars, avoiding distractions, practicing regularly, and staying alert while driving. By taking these tips into consideration and continuously improving your skills, you can become a safe and confident driver on the road.
Remember always to prioritize safety and obey traffic laws to ensure a successful and enjoyable driving experience.
Don’t forget to share this information with others. Thank you.