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Tips for New Drivers

Learning how to drive is a great step towards independence. While it’s exciting to learn, it can get very intimidating when other vehicles speed off near you and cut you off on the road. The trick to being a good driver is being a comfortable driver. When you’re comfortable, you’re confident. Becoming comfortable takes time and practice behind the wheel. Below are a few helpful tips for the new driver on the road:

Stay Distraction-Free.
After you put your seatbelt on and start your car, make sure you have a clear idea of your route or destination. If you aren’t sure, have your GPS on and ready. Make a habit out of ensuring everything in the vehicle is adequately stored and strapped in, so nothing falls during the trip. Also, make sure your ringer is off. Most newer cars come with Bluetooth capabilities, but you shouldn’t be taking any calls at this point as a new driver.

Make Adjustments Before Hitting the Road.
Before driving, sit in the car and make sure you feel comfortable. Adjust the seat as you need to. You may need to adjust your car seat or move it higher up. Check the rearview mirror and make sure you can see behind you clearly. Lastly, check your side mirrors and make sure you have a broad view. You may need to have someone show you the proper way to adjust them.

Lighten Up the Lead Foot.
Each vehicle’s gas pedal has a different sensitivity. With some vehicles, you can lightly tap the gas pedal and zip off. In contrast, other cars will require a firm press. The key here is to always start with a light press. As a new driver, there are rarely any instances where you need to use a lead foot.

Always Use Your Turn Signal
If you need to change lanes or make any turns, always use your turn signal. Make it a habit even if there aren’t any visible vehicles behind you.

Follow All Posted Traffic Laws
Keep your eyes on the road and be aware of any posted traffic signs. If you aren’t sure what a symbol means, safely pull over and make sure you review your traffic book or find information. All traffic signs include any posted speed limit. This isn’t the time to try to race other cars or speed off anywhere. The speed limits are meant to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe.

You should always have your driver’s license and proof of insurance in your vehicle with you. If you don’t yet have a driver’s license, but you have a permit, make sure someone with a license is in the car with you. This is extremely helpful just in case you run into any questions or concerns while you’re practicing. It’s okay to be nervous, take a few breaths to keep yourself calm. Driving is an excellent step towards independence and one you should be proud of.

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