Rules of the Road: Driving Tips and Tricks for New Motorists

by Emma Sturgis

in Safety

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If you’re learning how to drive, you might be overwhelmed by all the rules and regulations you’re expected to know.

The good news is that it’s easier than you think to become a responsible motorist.

Here are just a few tips for driving safely.

Understand Your Car’s Controls

This should be done before you put the slightest bit of pressure on the pedal. Where are your seat, door and window controls? What do all the gauges on the dashboard mean? How do you start and stop your windshield wipers? You might need to recall this information in a split second while actually on the road, so practice all the controls in a stationary car until you’ve got them down.

Maintain 360° Visibility

You’ve probably heard the advice to stay 2-3 car lengths behind the next vehicle; this will ensure that you have plenty of time to react if they suddenly swerve, brake or do something else unexpected. Keep in mind, however, that drivers next to you can be just as dangerous as drivers in front of you. It isn’t enough to just watch the road straight head; you should be scanning the road from all angles at periodic intervals.

Be Careful Around Big Rigs

New drivers are usually still getting used to concepts like blind spots and lane-changing etiquette. This can make it tough to know what to do around tractor trailers, sometimes leading to accidents. A specialist with Scherline And Associates says injuries from truck accidents can be especially devastating and often include paralysis, spinal injuries, and head injuries. This is why it’s important to stay vigilant when sharing the road with large trucks.

Limit Distractions

“Don’t text and drive,” is an obvious adage, but “Don’t drive around one-handed with a can of soda,” should be one too. The same goes for “Don’t try to find something in the glove compartment while driving,” and “Don’t take your eyes off the road while plugging in your smartphone to charge.” Distractions come in many different forms, and they can all be deadly.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Change the oil. Wipe down the windows. Check the tires regularly, and pump or replace them if they’re getting deflated. These are all necessary tasks when you own a car, and even little things can cause big accidents if you ignore them for too long. It’s worth your life to perform periodic maintenance checks on your vehicle.

These are just a few tips for new motorists. Whether you’re a teenager applying for your first license or an adult conquering a long-held fear, these tips will help you lay the groundwork for a future as a safe, responsible driver.

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