If you have been trained in a decent driving school, then you already have the basic knowledge and skills that are enough to drive safely. Many novice drivers are left with fear at this stage. Others are overconfident. No matter who you are, absolutely every one of the 10 tips given in this article is guaranteed to help you survive on the road and quickly move from the category of beginners to experienced drivers.
Advice №1. Refuse a bad teacher
If you are not an overly self-confident novice driver, then at first there will probably be a “navigator” next to you. Father, husband, boyfriend, friend. On the one hand, this is logical and correct. A more experienced driver will tell you something, somewhere he will help you orient yourself faster. In general, your experience should grow according.
However, not every mentor is able to give you a really useful experience. The teachers are overly noisy, twitchy. Literally in your every action, they can see the danger, and constantly correct you. There are also those who are called bad words on the road. They neglect the points of the Traffic Laws, unnecessarily rush, reckless, hysterically put pressure on the horn instead of working with the steering wheel and pedals.
Choose your mentor carefully if you need one. Do you understand and perceive what he is trying to convey to you. Note for yourself how your future teacher behaves while driving. How he reacts to the mistakes or impudence of other road users. Whether it complies with the DA in full, or through the line. Answer the question for yourself: do you really want to become the same driver?
With the basic knowledge and skills, you gained in a driving school, it is quite possible to understand the car and the road without mentors. If this were not possible, you would simply not be given a license. However, they are in your hands. So, you are already a full-fledged driver. Unless, of course, you bought them.
Advice №2. Complete the machine
That a new car from the salon, that bought on the secondary market - as a rule, "naked". Here we mean not the equipment, for each item of which sellers add to the price. It is important for you, as a novice driver, to develop the habit of not leaving the garage if the car does not have something from this list:
- Aid kit - God forbid, so that it is not useful, but when you need it, and it is not there, this is a loss of health or even life. It is better to consult with a competent person, and complete the first-aid kit yourself. Those flawed kits that are sold on every corner have nothing to do with maintaining health and life.
- Fire extinguisher - do not buy the cheapest, for show. It's also pointless to carry it with you in the trunk if you have no idea how to use it. Turn once to knowledgeable people for advice.
- Spare wheel + everything you need to install it - the spare wheel itself should not be full of holes and inflated, but to install it, you will need a jack and a wrench. Again, if you have never held these things in your hands, practice in advance so that later you do not suffer somewhere on the outskirts of civilization, trying to figure out which side to slip the jack under the car. There is a separate material about choosing a jack for ABS.
- Tow rope - your car can be infinitely reliable, but this device can help not only you. Getting someone who needs it to a service station or gas station is always a big plus in karma. And not even superstitious drivers usually believe in karma. Because she is.
- Emergency stop sign - if used correctly, it will allow you to avoid a car flying out of the fog at full speed, which, without having time to slow down, blows both your car on a jack and you and your passengers.
At the same time, it makes little sense to carry a mini-service station and camping equipment with you if you do not plan to use it in advance. Although the minimum set of tools, consisting of a screwdriver and pliers, does not require a lot of space, it can come in handy. It is also useful to carry work gloves and napkins in the glove compartment - when you have to change a punctured tire on a dirty roadside, it will be like a godsend.
Advice №3. Carry out maintenance
Absolutely every driver, regardless of gender, mindset and type of activity, must be able to check the technical condition of his car before leaving. The purpose of daily maintenance (technical inspection) is not to leave the garage with a faulty car. Depending on what you miss during the inspection (or what you neglect), everything can end with a serious breakdown and expensive repairs, or loss of health or life. And not only yours.
Therefore, from the very beginning, develop the habit before leaving to check:
- Engine oil level.
- Brake fluid level.
- Coolant level.
- Tire pressure (at least visually).
- Everything that should glow outside.
All this takes a minute. And the right habit, which, if not developed at the initial stage, will never appear again.
Advice №4. Warm up the engine
Unlike daily maintenance, the habit of warming up a cold engine is not as beneficial. However, it is also better to have it in the initial stages of driving experience. Regardless of what kind of car you have - modern or not very modern, diesel, gasoline, gas. Warm up the engine at least a little. In the summer, a minute is enough. In winter it takes a little longer.
A warm engine is:
- Fuel economy (albeit small).
- Increase in the resource of rubbing parts.
- Confident responsiveness of the gas pedal.
- Stable idle.
- Glasses not fogged up.
An unheated car accelerates sluggishly, twitches, stalls at the first intersection. Especially if you are a beginner driver. Learn more about warming up the engine.
Advice №5. Customize your car
In any car, it is possible to adjust at least the driver's seat. If the steering wheel can also be adjusted, then this is generally a beauty. The goal is maximum visibility, convenience and accessibility of all controls.
First of all, it concerns the pedals. On vehicles with a manual transmission, adjust the seat on the clutch pedal. Squeeze it completely - your leg should be slightly bent at the knee. That is, as if you still have a margin to press more. If there is no clutch pedal, focus on the brake pedal.
The height of the driver's seat (if there is such an adjustment) is adjusted synchronously with the reach and height of the steering wheel. Place one hand on the handlebars (no girth) - it should "point" straight ahead, not up or down. At the same time, you should see the tachometer and speedometer on the panel.
Lastly, the back of the driver's seat is adjusted. Its slope should be such that you can freely put one hand on the handlebars (on top and without girth) without bending over. After each adjustment, check all previous ones. You should be comfortable. Driving is a very important factor.
As for the review, a lot depends on the car itself. In most cases, if you have correctly adjusted the seat to your height, you will have maximum visibility. Putting on a pillow to sit higher and see more, but at the same time, it’s not worth it to hardly reach the pedals. Over time, you will see much more and feel the dimensions of the car better than in the first stages. This inevitably comes with experience.
Advice №6. Tidy up your mirrors
If there is a mirror in the cabin, start with it. Although it is not the most important (on some machines it is not at all). Sit in the pre-adjusted seat and grasp the steering wheel. Adjust the central mirror so that it contains as much information as possible, which is only possible to see through the rear window. It is also useful that in this mirror you constantly see the lower edge of the rear window - this helps a lot to navigate at first.
Side mirrors are key. And both. Start tuning from the horizon line. To do this, install the car on a flat surface where the horizon line falls into the mirrors. It should split your mirrors in half, that is, be in the middle. Now there is a side adjustment. Turn both mirrors left and right so that you can see at least a little of your car in them from your side. This will facilitate both maneuvers and parking in reverse.
Note! Many novice drivers make the same mistake when adjusting mirrors. Namely, they tune by unconsciously tilting or tilting their heads. This is the wrong setting. All of the above, you should eventually see in the mirrors, just turning your head slightly and looking away. On many cars, you do not need to turn your head to control what is happening in the driver's mirror.
Advice №7. On your turn signal even when no one is around
The habit of always turning on the turn signal before any maneuvers is one of those that can only be developed at the beginning of driving a car. Many drivers with serious experience, unfortunately, do not do this even when it is vital. Don't become like that. Sooner or later, neglect of direction indicators ends in an accident.
On the other hand, this simple action is not one that you can forget about and constantly think about. Turning on the turn signal is a habit. It should work regardless of what you are thinking about at one time or another. And in order for you to develop it, it is very important from the first kilometers of driving to accustom yourself to press the lever, even if you do not see anyone around you.
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Advice №8. Try to think at least two steps ahead
At first, traffic seems unpredictable even in situations where it cannot happen otherwise even in theory. Over time, this effect weakens, and with experience comes a very useful ability to "read" the traffic situation. Later, with a little effort, you can learn to predict seemingly incredible events. To come to this, think at least a couple of steps ahead. Moreover, consider not only your steps, but also those that other road users can take.
An example to understand the essence. You are following a car. There is an intersection ahead, but the driver of the car in front of you does not turn on the turn signal. According to the Traffic Laws, this means that he will continue straight ahead. But for you, as a driver who thinks two steps ahead, this should mean that he can go straight, brake sharply in front of a pedestrian that unexpectedly jumped out for him, suddenly start to change lanes, turn, turn around. In order not to get a check or checkmate in such chess, you must be ready for any of the listed events.
The second example for fixing. You are driving on a country road, where there are only two wide lanes. Ahead, in the same direction as you, grandfather is moving on a bicycle. At first glance, there is no chess in such a situation. But. Grandpa's arm might twitch and he'll start catching his balance by suddenly riding his bike right in front of your hood. Someone in a panic (or maybe you) will start hysterically signaling to his grandfather. He gets scared and falls halfway. In order not to get a checkmate in such a situation, at a minimum, aim to go around the old man as far away as possible (taking into account traffic in the oncoming lane), even if this is not necessary.
There will be countless such situations in your practice. Of course, provided that you listen to the advice, and will at least try to think a couple of moments ahead. As with turn signals, over time this will develop into a skill that will work no matter what you think about while driving. Your trained brain will already have a set of possible outcomes in store, and will force your arms and legs to perform prudent actions.
Advice №9. Build experience systematically
As for the right actions, this can only be achieved through one's own experience. Of course, you can read or watch something on the Internet, attend extreme driving courses and gain theoretical knowledge in other ways. But without practice, they will be absolutely useless.
Therefore, systematically increase your experience. Practice while it can be done without loss. Deliberately drive your car into unusual conditions, because only in this way you can understand how two tons of metal on wheels behave in an extreme situation. And most importantly, what to do in such situations.
This is what I see as a starter kit. First, practice emergency braking so that you don’t get scared or confused if necessary. Secondly, feel the drift. Practice in the winter, on a slippery wide area. This way you will learn how fast you need to drive, how to turn the steering wheel and press the pedals when the chess on the road works. Third, practice parking. At least in order not to get into funny videos, which are many on the Internet. Fourth, return to the Traffic Laws at least once a year. They tend to be forgotten and updated. Fifth, learn from the mistakes of others. It's cheaper than drawing conclusions from your own.
Advice №10. Be Human
In modern realities, this is perhaps the most important advice to a novice driver. Sometimes it is very difficult to remain a Human when you are hysterically honked in the back, cut off, maneuver without warning signals, rude, do not give way. In addition to impudent drivers, there are also those who make mistakes and do not look around. Do not forget about the same novice drivers like you. In general, it is difficult to remain an adequate driver today.
But if you, nevertheless, strive to remain a Human, it is possible. Even among idiots and boors. At a minimum: comply with the Traffic Laws; give way to those who are in a hurry; do not repeat after the rule breakers; treat cyclists and pedestrians as full-fledged road users; “read” the traffic situation so as not to lose at chess, as on the road it is a game for money, property, health and life.