10 Driving tips for New Learners
A few basic pointers to have the best time in a car while also keeping in mind your safety and of those around you
When one is learning how to drive, there are a lot of things that need to be kept in mind. In fact, whether a rookie or a seasoned driver, it is very important for all to be really careful when behind the steering wheel.
Below, we bring to you a list of 10 basic rules that should be kept in mind. This list is aimed towards people who are learning to drive and are fairly new at it. But along with them, it is also a reminder to all practiced drivers as well because it is usually they who tend to forget the basic ground rules and cause a ruckus on the road. Read on for the basic 'Do's and Don’ts' of driving.
Get familiar with your car
The first and foremost thing that you should do before you start driving is to get comfortable with your car. Get familiar with the basics of the car in theory before you start driving it. Learn what a clutch does, understand the gear arrangements and learn facts such as one should never shift to a lower gear at a higher speed and that it’s always better to let the car come to a stop before you switch to reverse.
Correct your seating position
The second most important thing that an amateur driver should learn is the seating position. Even some learned drivers don't position themselves correctly and thus lack comfort and control, which increases the probability of accidents. Ensure that you sit straight, with your back and buttocks cupped by the seat’s design thus helping to prevent back injuries.
The driving seat should be set in a position where you can see all around easily and comfortably. It is usually said that the height of the seat should be such that your eyes are at half the height of the windshield. Longitudinally, the seat should be at a position where your knees are not stretched too much when pushing the pedal all the way down. Sit upright and don’t stoop forward.
Once you are in the driver's seat, be attentive, adjust the mirrors, wear your seatbelt and keep the rules of the road in mind. Avoid distractions while you are driving as city roads are jam packed with potential accidents waiting to happen. Therefore, you need to keep your eyes and attention focused on the road for every single second. Two most basic rules before you start driving: don't use a mobile phone while driving, and don’t drink and drive. Along with these rules, new drivers should especially avoid eating, turning up the music to a very high volume and indulging in detailed conversations while at the helm. Also pay attention to driving in your lane and not drifting in between them, which can also happen simply from the imperfections on the road gradually adjusting your steering position.
Adjust your seat in regards to the pedals
We cannot stress enough how important it is to get your seat positioned correctly, so we’re mentioning it twice. The seat should always be set in regards to the pedals. Push the brake fully with your right foot and depress the clutch, this should be done in a manner such that while depressing the pedals fully, your knees stay bent at about 120 degrees.
Steering wheel position
Despite what some may suggest, there is no one correct way of holding a steering wheel. It depends on how you want to hold it in order to have maximum control over the wheel. Most researches show that the “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” position is a good starting point for all new drivers. It’s very important to hold your steering wheel correctly to have the best control of the steering and in turn, the car.
Remember to use turn signals
Understand the importance of turning signals. Once you are on the road, you are one among many therefore it is very important that you alert the vehicles around you when you are about to turn. Using signals helps save a lot of mishaps on the road. Remember to indicate BEFORE you need to turn and not AS you turn, giving others around you time to react.
Don't over- speed
The most common temptation when one is behind the steering wheel is to speed up. It is very important that you first get familiar with the car before you start driving at the maximum allowed speed limit, especially on highways.
Maintain a considerable distance from other vehicles
Today the cars have very powerful braking systems with ABS as standard in new cars but despite that one should maintain a decent distance from the vehicle that is moving in front. This gives you time to react in case anything goes wrong ahead. You might be very courteous towards the rules of the road but that doesn't mean that the others are too. Today the best way to drive safely is to be a defensive driver rather than an aggressive driver.
Don't over use the horn
Horns are to alert the drivers around you, not to take out your frustration. Most of the times, excessive usage of horns can irritate the drivers around and cause unnecessary trouble. An enraged driver around you might cause a lot of problems on the road.
Keep calm while driving
Don't let your mood influence the way you drive, especially if you are a novice. A drive in anger shouldn't force you to over speed and a good mood doesn't mean that you have the liberty to be meandering in the middle of the road.
Photography By - Sitaram Swami