Your first time driving can be exciting but also nerve-racking. You don’t want to make a mistake, and you definitely don’t want to get into a car crash.
That’s why it’s important for first-time drivers to stick to the basics and consider getting learner driver’s insurance just in case something happens.
In this article, we’ll go over some basic tips to help make your first drive a positive experience. Here they are:
- Prepare in advance
A positive first drive is something you must prepare for in advance. So make sure you take a driver’s ed course or at least watch how other people drive while you’re a passenger. You can learn a lot just by observing.
You’ll also want to get a good night’s rest the night before and eat a good breakfast. This will help you stay alert and energized for the big day.
Lastly, wear closed-toe, non-slip shoes so that you can get a good grip on the pedals. You don’t want to have to struggle to hit the gas or brake pedals.
- Calm your nerves
Next, calm your nerves. Feeling too anxious or nervous makes it hard to drive.
One way to do this is to bring an experienced driver with you. This could be a family member, friend, or driving instructor. Choose someone you trust that has confidence in you.
You can also take a moment to breathe deeply and settle into the car. Remember, you’re not in a rush, especially not on your first drive.
- Eliminate distractions
At this point, it’s important to remove all distractions. That means put away your phone, roll up the windows, and turn off the radio.
You also don’t want to have any distracting passengers (like little kids) with you. Leave them at home until you are a more confident driver.
- Do the cockpit drill
Now you’re ready for the cockpit drill. Do all of the following:
- Adjust your seat
- Adjust the rearview and side mirrors
- Ensure all the doors are fully closed
- Put on your seatbelt
- Put the steering wheel in the right position for the direction you want to drive
If you check off all of the above, you won’t have to fumble around to fix anything while driving.
- Choose an easy route
Your first driving route should be easy. You already have enough to worry about as it is, so don’t make it any more stressful than it needs to be.
- Stay on quiet familiar roads. A slow backroad is ideal.
- Avoid interstates and highways. Leave the faster speed limits for when you’re a more experienced driver.
- Avoid gas stations and drive-throughs. Leave filling up on gas and ordering take-out for a later time as well.
The bottom line is you don’t want to be navigating new or difficult roads when you’re still learning to drive. Following the tips above gives you one less thing to worry about.
- Follow all traffic laws
Hopefully, you already know basic traffic laws before you ever get in the driver’s seat. Just remember to use your blinkers, stop before stop signs, slow down for yellow lights, and always drive defensively.
It’s better to drive slow and yield to other drivers when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to get into trouble with the law on your first drive!
- Have fun!
Finally, remember to have fun! Though your first drive can be scary, it’s important to enjoy the ride as much as you can.
You want it to be a positive experience to look back on, one that will motivate you to keep learning.
If other drivers cut you off or honk at you in frustration, don’t worry about it. It’s your first time driving, after all.
Adding it all up
Following these steps can turn a bad first driving experience into a good one. So refer back to this list as the big day gets closer. Then you can start off on the right foot, and before you know it, you’ll be driving like a pro!