Getting your driver’s license is essential, not only because it allows you to drive a vehicle, but also because the document is also a valid form of ID in the U.S.
However, if driving has proven to be quite the challenge—and perhaps you feel overwhelmed—consider the following driving tips to help you develop your skills and excel at every DMV test.
According to a survey, over 60% of students fail the driving test. It isn’t unusual for people to fail—once, twice, three or four times—yet according to a study by Privilege DriveXpert, failing these tests can actually mean you are smarter. Apparently, academic minds tend to overthink their actions, which then leads to them failing the test.
Experience behind the wheel is key to gain confidence and driving skills. However, there are quite a few things you need to keep in mind that can be crucial to getting your driver’s license and becoming a good driver.
A high percentage of motor vehicle accidents involve inexperienced teenage drivers, despite the fact that teen drivers make up less than 7% of the entire driving community in America. Driving isn’t necessarily difficult, yet it requires calmness, skill and training.
Nerves tend to be an important factor for new drivers. The fear of having an accident, of not acting in the correct way, turning in the wrong street, not remembering to put on your seat belt…There are quite a few details to keep in mind, and adding nerves to that can definitely make you prone to mistakes.
It is natural to feel a little nervous, after all, driving can be dangerous and it is good to be aware of this. However, the more relaxed you are, the better you’ll drive. Eventually you will learn to control your emotions, earn confidence and realize how fun and useful driving can be, but that takes practice, patience and time. Learn from your instructor or your parent and ask whenever you have any doubts. In the meantime follow these driving tips:
Before driving make sure your car is in a good state. If you have the chance to, choose a safe car. Nowadays cars come with the latest safety equipment, such as airbags and stability control, features that will simplify the driving process and help you follow these driving tips easily.
Since each vehicle is different, you should get acquainted with every button, lever and indicator in your car before driving it. Learn how to control the windows, air conditioning, heaters, windshields, lights. If you have any doubts, check the owner’s manual. Try to learn as much as you possibly can about the car you will be training in—and perhaps even driving once you obtain your license.
By learning what everything does and where everything is you’ll feel more at ease, comfortable with your car. It is also important to know the type of gas the car takes so, should you need to fill the tank, you know exactly how to do so.
Another vital driving tip you should put into practice is to adjust your side-view mirrors. This is key because when the mirrors aren’t correctly aligned you might have a blind spot, and you won’t be able to know if there is a person, motorcycle or car there. Additionally, check the rear-view mirror so that you can see the entire window. However, before doing all of this, remember to first adjust your car seat, because the position of the seat will define the angle of the mirrors. To do so, simply sit down and adjust the seat into a position you feel comfortable with.
One of the most important aspects of driving is to learn how to feel the wheels. A useful trick to do so is stepping on an empty plastic bottle and driving over it with the right and left wheels so you can sense how they feel.
During the winter, it’s quite common for cars not to start on the first go. Should this happen, don’t panic. Car batteries can get cold during the winter, so you will need to turn on the lights or the radio to start heating it.
Another little known driving tip your car might benefit from during the winter is using the hand brake while parking. This can definitely help keep it alive, unless weather conditions are simply you cold and brake pads freeze.
Consider the following driving tips to keep in mind while on the road:
Whether they are behind you, in front of you or further ahead, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on every car around you and avoid traffic jams as much as possible, at least at the beginning of your training.
Although at times you might feel pressured by other cars looking to move faster, keep in mind that while you are learning it’s always best to drive slowly. Students are prone to more mistakes, which is why you need to be especially vigilant. Additionally, you might want to avoid traffic tickets while still learning, it’s not wise.
Even though this might be obvious, ir order to arrive safely to your destination, you shouldn’t pay any attention to your devices, avoid picking things from the ground, changing radio stations…anything that might divert your attention from the road. Under no circumstances should you text and drive, this is one of the most dangerous activities you can do, as well as the fact that it’s an illegal activity in many U.S. states. Driving requires attention, period. The less amount of distractions you have, the better.
Normally, in driver’s ed courses you can learn everything about every single sign you might come across in your state. This information is vital to know the sort of actions you are expected to take when you come across such signs. You will know at which speed you should circulate, where to stop or give right of way, when you are in a school area, or traveling in a road where there are animal crossings, etc. You can also find this information in the DMV Driver’s Handbook.
This is a crucial driving tip and one you should always remember, especially when weather conditions are not the best (rain, snow, hail, strong winds…) By increasing the distance between your car and the car in front of you, you can increase both your reaction and braking times. You may be driving smoothly but if the other driver makes a simple mistake, you could end up rear-ending his or her car.
This is one of the most popular and useful driving tips, because you never know what can happen and under which situations you might need to drive. Driving at night, in the rain, in the snow, with high winds, in hail storms…every situation is different, but each of them require different safety measures.
Although there are quite clear rules when it comes to giving way, you will probably hesitate at some point. If that’s the case, simply give the right of way to the other. It’s the safest choice, because otherwise you might simply crash into one another. With time you will start getting to know the streets and when you should give way.
Parking is one of the most difficult parts of learning to drive. Both parallel and perpendicular parking can be quite a challenge and one you’ll learn to overcome with training. To get started, simply remain calm and use all of your mirrors. Be smart, if the size of the space is small, find another one. Think about the movement of the car and how to turn the wheel correctly to get the car to move the way you want to.
One of the most useful driving tips is to take a defensive driving course. These courses teach how to be more aware of other vehicles around you and can avoid quite a bit of unnecessary problems. Some insurance companies offer discounts, so make sure you do your research.
Having a good driving record may help you get more affordable insurance plans for your car. Naturally, insurance companies aim for clients with the lowest chances of having an accident.
Even though at first it can make you anxious, after a while driving will come easy. You will be prepared for any kind of situation: bad weather conditions, traffic jams, aggressive drivers, parking, etc. However, don’t be too confident. Accidents happen every day, so it’s vital to stay alert and be careful.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do to become a better driver is drive. There is no better way of learning than living through real situations. Spend time inside the car, learn how it works.
By applying these driving tips you will become the best driver you can be, so read carefully and start practicing.