7 Driving Tips for Beginners
Driving a car is a huge responsibility, although you may not think of it that way. Consider this; a car weighs in excess of a ton, and when it’s moving at a high rate of speed, there’s a potential for danger. If you’re not careful, you could lose control of your vehicle and hurt yourself or someone else. Even if you’re careful, other people may not be, so it’s up to you to be watchful–to be on the defensive. Following are a few driving tips.
Pay Attention to What’s Going On Around You
In order to be a good defensive driver, you need to pay attention to what’s going on in your immediate vicinity. Watch your mirrors, not only the rearview mirror, but the side mirrors as well. Keep track of any vehicles that are coming up behind you, especially if they’re approaching quickly. Most of your attention will naturally be on your windshield, and what’s in front of you, but knowing what’s going on to your sides and in back of you is important, too.
Slow Down for Safety
Even if you’re late for an appointment, take your time while you’re driving. It’s more important to arrive safely than not at all. Excess speed is a factor in numerous accidents, especially in adverse weather conditions. If you’re in a hurry, you will increase your chances of making an error in judgment that could result in causing damage to your vehicle, yourself, or other people or property.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Distracted driving is also a root cause of numerous accidents. Anything that detracts from your awareness of what’s going on around you is a distraction. That includes using a cell phone. If you’re concentrating on punching in numbers instead of watching the road, you could cause an accident. Texting while driving is a huge no-no. Other distractions include eating, changing the radio station, or reaching for something in the backseat. All of these things are in conflict with your primary obligation, which is driving the vehicle safely.
Don’t Give In to Road Rage
Sometimes it’s not easy to overlook a wrong that is done to you. Your first reaction may be to get angry with the perpetrator. If you’re behind the wheel of a car when that happens, it can become dangerous very quickly, because your anger could be distracting–it could cause you to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, such as trying to get back at the person who just cut you off in traffic. Don’t give in to road rage. Instead, you should back off and let that rude person go on their way. Soon enough your anger will subside, and you’ll have a story to tell when you get home.
Give Other Drivers Plenty of Room
When people are behind the wheel of a car, there seems to be a tendency to be in a hurry. In some cases drivers may crowd other people, trying to get where they’re going a few minutes earlier. If you intend to be a defensive driver, you’ll need to overcome the need to rush. Instead, you should slow down and allow other drivers to have plenty of room. Keeping a safe distance between your car and other vehicles will allow you to have time to react if something happens. The more space you have between vehicles, the better off you’ll be if one of them makes a mistake.
Let Others Know Your Intentions
Another defensive driving technique that could help you avoid an accident is to let others know what your intentions are. That means using your signal lights well in advance of making a turn, or switching lanes. Whenever the driver of a vehicle turns on their signal lights, it is immediately noticed by other drivers in the vicinity. Usually those closest to the vehicle will slow down until they’re sure of the intentions of the other driver.
Yield Even When You Have the Right of Way
Although it may go against your nature, yielding to other drivers, even if you have the right of way, is a good defensive driving technique. Most people will appreciate the gesture and show their appreciation by either waving or completing their maneuver quickly so you can get on your way.
Guest post from Sam Landon.