Driving for the first time after your Driving Lessons can be a nerve-wracking experience. You have stored a lot of information about operating a vehicle and navigating roads safely, but remembering them all at once can be difficult! Do not panic over what you need to remember from your driving lessons— GoSwerve offers teen driver training and adult driving lessons that help new drivers build a knowledge base they can be confident in on the roads.
Here are some helpful tips for your first-time driving experience.
Adjust the Vehicle for Comfort
Before you drive, adjust your seat, mirrors, and steering wheel. The seat should fit comfortably on your body and is a safe distance from the steering wheel. Being comfortable helps you relax and focus on the driving experience.
Your mirrors should give you a clear view of everything around you. Some steering wheels do not have adjustments. In such a case, find a steering wheel that fits your height and size.
Pick Your Lane Carefully
When driving for the first time, become familiar with the purpose of each lane. This helps you avoid traffic conflicts. You should only use the far-left lane to pass other vehicles at a safe speed and exit left. The center lane is ideal if traveling for a long distance at a consistent speed. Allow yourself enough space before taking a turn or changing lanes.
Avoid Overthinking the Situation
Breathe, relax, and trust yourself! Overthinking driving situations will only cause unnecessary stress and distraction. Follow the road rules and check if your vehicle is in good working order. Free your mind of any distractions and focus on driving.
At GoSwerve, we provide encouragement, support, and knowledge to help you get the best mental preparation out of your driving lessons.
Maintain a Steady Grip on the Wheel
As a first-time driver, keep a steady hold of the wheel. A firm hold on the wheel keeps you in control of the car when accelerating and turning down the road corners. Holding the steering wheel loosely could result in losing control of the vehicle.
Roll your engine slowly and decrease the acceleration gradually. Apply gentle, steady pressure to the brake pedal until your vehicle slows down and comes to a stop. Sudden braking can damage your car, and puts you and other drivers at greater risk of accident.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
Never drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. These substances impair your judgment, coordination, and reaction time and put you at risk of causing road accidents.
Get Rid of Distractions
Avoid distractions such as mobile phones and radio for safe driving. Put away your phone or any other device, and only change radio stations while stopped. Additionally, keep your radio volume at a low level. Loud music can overpower sirens or honking that would alert you to potential dangers of the road.
When you are driving other people in your car, make sure to prioritize your attention to the road over your attention to them. While conversation is fine, first-time drivers should especially maintain a focus on the road in front of them and the space around them. Encourage passengers to keep voices at a normal level, and don’t be afraid to ask them to wait to ask you questions until you have stopped the car.
Drive on Familiar Roads
Always use familiar roads as a first-time driver to boost your confidence on the roads. Start with driving around your neighborhood and on low-traffic roads in your community, and work your way up to more frequently used roads with commercial businesses or markets. This will increase your confidence in your ability to handle the basics of driving, and begin to develop problem-solving or reactionary skills to outside situations.
Drive at a Safe Speed and Safe Distance
As a first-time driver, it is hard to tell exactly how fast to drive. Follow the speed limit signs posted on the roadways. Here are some tips on how to drive at a safe speed:
- Check for the speed limit signs on the roadways.
- Drive with the flow of the traffic
- Avoid using your mobile phone or any other device that distracts your attention.
- Don’t tailgate another vehicle or pass too closely behind it.
Keep a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you. This helps you avoid rear-ending into the vehicle.
Observe All the Road Signs
As a first-time driver, be keen to follow all the road signs. Road signs indicate that there is something ahead of you that you need to know.
Effectively Communicate With Other Drivers
When driving, understand other drivers’ signals and directions. Effective communication helps you know what the other drivers want to do next. This allows you to stay safe on the roads.
Be a Pro Behind the Wheel by Taking Your Driving Lessons Today!
At GoSwerve, we provide extensive driving classes. We have over 10,000 graduated adult and teen driving students who have become a pro in driving. Our instructors help you become a safe and responsible driver. Contact us today to enroll in our driver’s education curriculum.