Getting behind the wheel the first time can be exciting and thrilling. However, it can also be frightening to drive the first time on your own. While you may have learned proper driving techniques and the rules of the road, finally driving on your own is a whole new ballgame that will take some time to master. There are a few things that you need to consider when you drive for the first time.
- Adjust the car to ensure you are comfortable while driving
When you get behind the wheel, adjust everything to suit your needs. This means making sure the seat is adjusted to suit your height and the mirrors are properly angled to give you a clear view of the road behind you.
- Try not to think too much
There is no doubt that you would have to multitask while driving, but try not to think too much. Just remember to use the signals and understand what the road signs mean. Otherwise, focus all your attention on driving and keep your head clear.
- Don’t let nerves get the better of you
Make sure you calm yourself before you start driving. While it helps to have an experienced driver alongside you, but if you cannot find someone, breathe deeply to calm down. Remember, you have had the training to drive. Just follow what you learned to keep yourself and others safe.
- Always keep your hands on the steering wheel
It is very easy to take your hands off the steering wheel to adjust your mirrors or switch on the radio. However, just a split second is needed for something bad to happen while driving. So, make sure you adjust the mirrors before leaving. It is best to turn off the radio the first few times you get behind the wheel. You don’t need any distraction.
- Remember to turn off your mobile before getting into the car
Mobile phones have become an integral part of modern-day life. People use them to text, make calls, send and receive emails and listen to music. Never use your mobile while driving, no matter how tempting it is. There are studies to show trying to text while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. So, rather than letting your cell phone turn into a distraction that could endanger you and others, it is best to turn it off. Should you want to make a call or check your messages, pull over at the side of the road and check your phone.
- Always wear your seat belt while you are in the car
Even though this is the most commonly touted advice, you will be surprised to learn that a vast majority of drivers actually forgets to wear their seat belts when they get behind the wheel. In 49 of the 50 US states not wearing a seat belt is an offense that causes you to get a ticket. Furthermore, it has been proven scientifically that seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from sustaining injury if they are involved in an accident. Remember your seat belt could save your life. So, never ignore it.
- Stay in your lane at all times
This, unfortunately, is another rule, even experienced drivers don’t follow. Keep an eye on the lane you are driving in. If you stray to the adjacent lane with flashing your signal lights, you could cause an accident. In case you find it tough to stay in your lane, get a hood ornament for your car and use it as a beacon to keep you in your lane.
- Always drive solo without your friends
Yes, it is exciting to drive the first time. You may be tempted to invite your friends to join you. Don’t! There is scientific evidence to show the risk of having a car accident increases when there is a teenaged passenger in your car. This risk increases manifold if you have several teenaged passengers (your friends) and increases in proportion to how many teenagers (friends) are in the car. Even if you trust them, which you most likely do, you need to focus on the driving.
- Select a safe and fuel efficient car
You may want a car that roars each time you pump the accelerator. However, you should be looking to purchase a safe car that has all the safety equipment to ensure you have a safe ride. Make sure the car you select has anti-lock braking system, air bags, and electronic stability control. Also, if it is fuel efficient, you won’t be using all of your allowance on fuel.
Some fuel efficient cars are expensive though. So do not rule out other types of cars or trucks either.
As you drive more often, you will gain the driving experience to become a safe driver. Until that happens, use these tips to beat the odds, considering the statistics of a teenage driver, accidents are sky high. Furthermore, as you turn into a safe car driver and have an accident-free driving record, your car insurance premiums will come down. So it really is worthwhile following these tips as a first-time teen driver.