It’s your first day as a licensed driver, and you’re ready to go out on your own for the first time. This can be exciting, but it can also make you nervous. It’s normal to be nervous before your first drive because you’ve never really done this on your own before, and driving is one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis. Before heading out, here are five things you should know about driving.
- Be proactive, not reactive.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep an eye out for other drivers and try your best to anticipate what they may do. Although sometimes people do the unexpected, keeping a vigilant eye on those around you will greatly reduce your risk of getting into an accident. Being proactive and not reactive can also make you less likely to become an angry driver.
- Check your gas levels.
It’s easy to forget to fill up your tank if it’s not something you’re used to doing. But, nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the road because they didn’t think to check their gas before getting on the highway! If you’re running on empty, try and get to a nearby gas station as quickly as possible. Don’t get overconfident and assume you have just enough gas to get home, because even though you might, it’s not worth the risk.
- Get comfortable driving at night.
Most of us practiced for our driving test during the day, and are used to the sun being out and shining. However, if you’re not used to driving at night, you might not have a fun time. One tip is to set out in the evening while the sun is going down, you’ll ease your way into the dark and get a sense of when you’ll need to turn on your headlights.
- Keep your registration and insurance information in your glove compartment.
If you get into an accident or are pulled over, you’re going to need to know where this is. Having one set place for everything can help things run smoothly in a not-so-good situation. Keep them neat and folded in there, too. The last thing you want is to have a crinkled-up piece of paper that you can barely read! Some people even keep them in an envelope for an added layer of protection.
- Use your blinker.
Your blinker is going to be your best friend when you head out for a drive. There’s no quicker way to infuriate the drivers around you than by not signaling before you turn or change lanes. Also, signal before you turn or change. It’s relatively pointless to turn your turn signal on when you’re already halfway around the corner or in the next lane. If other drivers notice your blinker, they’ll have ample time to provide you with the space you need to safely maneuver your car around theirs.