With patience and practice, we grow from first-time drivers to veteran pilots in no time.
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So you finally claimed your license, finished your driving lessons, and secured the car of your dreams. You finally know how to drive and are excited to finally hit the road, but before you even make it out of your driveway, you’re overcome with fear of being a first-time driver.
New driver anxiety definitely isn’t rare; everyone was once a new driver anyway. But getting that confidence on the road will surely take patience, practice, and presence of mind. A couple of driving tips for beginners would also be of big help and luckily for you, we have you covered on that.
You and your car should think and function as one.
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While your new car might be fitted with convenient peripherals already, it still pays to put yourself in the most comfortable position possible as you drive. There are the given: adjust your mirrors so that blind spots are minimized; sit squarely behind the steering wheel with your body at least a foot from the wheel’s hub; angle your seat so your line of sight is never obstructed.
And then there are the less standard and more personal tips that you can take note of: upgrade your upholstery to your desired material or fabric, purchase peripheral devices to manage your gadgets, and of course, play your favorite music while you’re at it.
Your personal safety and comfort as your car’s pilot should always come first!
Drivers take note: ignorance is never an excuse to violate the law.
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This should be a no-brainer: traffic rules are in place to ensure everyone’s safe passage through our otherwise potentially dangerous roads.
It’s always an advantage to go through formal education, but what they may leave out are our localized traffic ordinances, most of which are alien to you as a first-time driver only until you encounter, or worse, violate them. Build the habit of researching local ordinances ahead of your trip, like one-way traffic schemes, coding regulations, parking rules, and the like. Also, it always helps to brush up on your knowledge of traffic signage.
What driving schools don’t teach you is the value of patience. If other drivers aren’t as sharp or if you violate a rule by being an honest beginner, it’s up to you to maintain composure!
3. Make sure your car is insured.
Being insured makes sure your car is safe and secure, whether an accident is your fault or not.
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Buying your dream car is but the beginning of a long list of driver responsibilities. Insurance is an inevitable part of that list. Especially in a traffic state where cooler heads hardly prevail, you wouldn’t want to drive around with an uninsured vehicle.
Majority of this responsibility consists of research. The coverage that car insurance companies offer differ by price and mostly depend on various factors, like your car’s model, make, age, and variant, and your car usage. Also take note of its fair market value, or FMV, which is a vehicle’s computed current value in today’s market, as well as your car’s depreciation rate.
Make sure you’re applying for the right kind and right duration of insurance, and that, of course, your insurance company is legal!
4. Accessorize your car with cool add-ons.
Treat your car as your home and every trip will be an enjoyable experience!
Image: Unsplash / @egla
Once you get into the rhythm of your daily drives, you will want to accessorize your vehicle to further minimize the odds of meeting danger while on the road, or just elevate your driving experience overall.
Some of these car accessories include: blind spot mirrors to widen your view of your blind spots; reverse parking sensors to detect obstacles on your rear; dashboard cameras to capture the street view of your trip for later review; and of course, a ready car emergency kit and first aid kit for when your journey meets an unexpected emergency.
Of course, there are also other entertaining additions like portable charging pads and docks for your phone, food and beverage holders for your driver door and an upgraded entertain system, for everyone’s enjoyment!
5. Only enroll with certified driving experts.
Driving schools may be costly, but accidents due to poor training may be deadly.
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Whether you attended a driving school or were taught lessons by someone in your free time, new drivers can never get enough practice and training on the road.
Nothing beats lessons from certified professional driving trainers. As experts, they only teach what the law states, and don’t steer towards arbitrary interpretations of traffic rules. Lessons in driving academies are systematic, structured, and standardized, and beyond teaching you how to drive, they also inform you on how to furnish your vehicle’s papers and requirements. School-supplied automobiles are also optimized for training.
If you plan to take it up a notch, advanced driving lessons usually consist of high-performance driving, racing, and defensive driving lessons.
Visit Yoorekka for more useful driving tips when out on the road!
6. Always stay on your lane.
Changing lanes abruptly may be convenient for you, but inconvenient for everyone else.
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This is one of the most important takeaways from driving training. No personal circumstance should ever yield to this – not a tight schedule, a driver rushing late, and definitely not impatience. After all, staying on your lane ascertains everyone’s safety.
Changing lanes should always be done with caution. Whether you’re leaving the freeway, going around an obstruction on your path, or stopping on the shoulder lane due to an emergency, you should always inform other drivers of your case by slowing down and using your taillights. Otherwise, you should stay centered, and stay focused on your own lane.
When on your lane, control your speed, use your mirrors, and take note of narrowing highways, or sharp or sudden curves on your route.
7. Keep calm and stay focused on the road.
Cooler heads should prevail, whether you’re driving or talking to a fellow driver.
Image: Unsplash / @otoriii
Perhaps the most important reminder of them all when hitting the road, whether as a newbie or a veteran driver: always keep a cool head.
Year after year, the majority of road accidents are attributed to human error. In the slightest shift of patience, composure, or focus, we commit the gravest mistakes. Sudden turns and stops or failure to signal or to slow down just because we want to be ahead can create a domino effect of collisions.
What’s more, composure is important whether you’re driving or not. As more vehicles ply our roads, cases of road rage continue to rise. Thus, it is always advised to meet an accident with the utmost presence of mind and humility at heart. In such cases, just follow protocol, and let things take their legal course.
Remember that everyone we’re sharing the road with just wants to get to their destination promptly and safely. So whether it’s someone’s first time or thousandth time to drive, these points will always serve their purpose.
About Viktor Austria
Viktor would love to receive an extra hour a day as a Christmas gift. That way, he won’t have to struggle over splitting his 24 hours among making brand copies and campaigns, writing children’s stories, going to the gym, commuting around Taguig, and feeding his two overweight cats. He hates the hustle culture, that’s why he’s thankful for friends who have time to spare on weekends, preferably over spicy ramen and cold bottles of beer.
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