7 Basic Things First-Time Drivers Should Know

Barwick Boitano Lawyers

Driving is a privilege and getting behind the wheel is a huge responsibility all drivers should always bear in mind. Learning how to drive is a nerve-wracking experience. However, once you get comfortable taking control of the vehicle, you won’t have to worry too much.

Proper driving techniques and having a car to drive aren’t the only things requirements you need to drive. You’d also need to be knowledgeable of the rules of the road and defensive driving technique (i.e. no phone while driving).

Here are the basic know-hows for those of you who are in the early stages of learning how to drive:

Remain calm

Since you’re a beginner driver, it’s required by law that student drivers should have a an experienced driver whom you trust so in the passenger seat beside you to help and guide you through. They’re also there to help calm your nerves especially when you’re overwhelmed with road signs, pedestrians, and simply your fear. Driving is frightening at first but once you get comfortable behind the wheel and if you just stay calm, you’ll do just fine.

Be alert at all times

Yes, you may have an experienced driver next to you, however, you shouldn’t rely everything on them and expect them to tell you where to turn next or what to do. Know that you need to keep all your senses alert at all times when driving. This means hands off your phone and keep your eyes open for road signs, pedestrians, and the potential moves of the other vehicles around you.

Car signals are there for a purpose

Turn signals are important and a lifesaver. Don’t be that one driver who rarely, if not never, uses their signals to warn the vehicles surrounding them where they want to go. It’s a must to let other drivers know where you’re headed; and to do this, you make use of the turn signals.

Adjust the things in the car to your comfort

Before you hit the gas and go, make sure that you’re 100% comfortable in the card behind the wheel—can your feet reach the pedals with no discomfort? Is your seat adjusted to your liking? Are your side mirrors positioned accordingly? Adjust these and all the other things to your comfort before you drive. This is easier than realizing while driving that your seat is too low for your comfort and there’s no stopping right away to fix it.

Always pay attention to your blind spots

You may have side mirrors and a rear view mirror to guide you and show you beyond of your peripheral vision, your blind spot could deter you from seeing a cyclist, a toddler, a car, or anything you might not see until you hear a loud bang. Only then you’ll realize you’ve hit something or someone.

Whenever you’re in control of the vehicle, you are taking responsibility not just for your own safety but also of others. Keep your alert level high at all times and know by heart the rules of the road to keep avoid accidents as much as you can.

Know what to do when an accident occurs

No, taking a photo or video and reporting it to your social media accounts is not the first and proper measures to take. If you ever catch yourself in an accident, call a police to report what happened. If you’re in traffic, take photos of the damage (for reference) and safely pull out of traffic to the side and discuss the incident with the other driver or the police. Don’t forget to exchange insurance details with the other driver and take note of their information as well to keep in touch when needed.

Know what to do when you get pulled over by a police

When you find yourself being pulled over by a police officer, do not attempt to drive away especially if you have nothing to hide or run for. Don’t panic. Don’t do anything reckless. Instead, pull safely on the side of the road and do as the police asks you to. If anything goes sideways, know your Miranda rights—request or call your lawyer.

Any tips and advice for new drivers? Share your experiences and thoughts with us!

About the author: A huge fan of crime tv shows and films, Chie also has a knack for writing. She writes for Barwick Boitano Lawyers, a firm of lawyers and legal team offering expert advice and legal solutions to clients in Parramatta and Sydney’s western suburbs since 1991.

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