Getting on the road solo for the first time is exciting, but it can also be intimidating. After getting a learner’s permit and going through a Driver’s Education class, young drivers might feel like they’ve heard all the safe driving tips and know all there is to know. Experienced drivers know that becoming a good, safe driver only happens through practice. Luckily, there are a few shortcuts to years of experience.
Safe Driving Tips No One Tells You When You’re a New Driver
Look for Potholes
Encountering a pothole can result in a costly car repair if you are not careful. Reducing speed on roads that are not well-let or roads where the asphalt is cracked and patchy is the best way to avoid potholes and prevent tire damage.
Leave 10 feet of space between you and the car in front of you for every 10 mph of speed you’re going. If you’re travelling 60 mph, there should be 60 feet of space between you and the next car. This is especially important when driving on high-traffic roads where there is a high risk of sudden braking.
Use Your Emergency Brake
Use the emergency brake every time you park your car. Consistent use of the emergency brake will keep it from sticking when you need it. However, exercise caution in freezing weather, as there is a chance that the brake pads will freeze in place.
Lock Your Doors
Park in well-lit areas and always lock your doors as soon as you get inside your vehicle. This is a great habit to get into, as it helps ensure your safety. Additionally, it’s good to get in the habit of locking your doors manually when you exit your vehicle. Key fobs typically have long battery life, but eventually they will die. By locking your doors manually, you ensure your car is safe even if your key fob battery dies.
Drive at a modest, consistent speed and stay within the speed limit. You improve the flow of traffic and reduce the chance of an accident. Frequent acceleration, braking and lane changes make you appear to others as an erratic driver and increase your risk of getting into, or causing, an accident.
Lower Your Seat
The higher set your seat is behind the wheel, the less accurate your impression is of your speed because you’re view of the speedometer from an incorrect angle. By lowering your seat, you’re less likely to speed without realizing it.
Set Your Route Ahead of Time
Don’t rely on GPS and wait to get on the road before checking directions. Familiarize yourself with your route before you turn on the car. When you are driving somewhere new, turn the stereo in your car down so that you can adequately hear your GPS’s instructions and pay closer attention to the road.
There are few things like the freedom that a driver’s license brings. Safe driving tips like these will help you avoid accidents and tickets and will help improve your reactions to unpredictable situations or road conditions.