Getting your driving license from a renowned school in Brooklyn can be super exciting as a teen. You’ve been waiting for the chance to explore the road on your own without your parent whispering instructions into your ears all the time. Here you will get driving tips for teens and first-time drivers to be a pro at driving.
One thing you should remember, though, is that you still have a long way to go before you can clearly say that you’ve mastered the rule of the road.
While driving offers you a new independent chapter in your life, it also creates new dangers beyond your control if you’re not careful. Driving is a continuous learning process that requires a lot of practice before building enough confidence to drive in all types of road situations.
The real driving lessons begin once you start driving on your own and as you get better at it.
Here are the top 10 driving tips for teens or first-time drivers to help you move from a nervous to a confident driver.
Best Driving Tips for Teens and First-Time Drivers
1. Be Comfortable with Your Car
Before setting out on your first drive alone, familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s controls and get comfortable. Understand your seat controls, locks, air conditioning, heaters, defrosters, radio, windows, the location of brights, how to use gauges, how to clean your windshield, etc.
Going through the owner’s manual can help you. You don’t want to start fumbling, looking for a lever or switch when driving down that road. You know what will happen next.
To promote your confidence, sit upright, have your seatbelt on, have some healthy road snacks, chew gum, or listen to music.
2. Always Maintain a Safe Driving Speed
As you grow more confident and comfortable behind the wheel, you may be tempted to drive faster, beyond the required speed limits. This is not appropriate.
You should know that adhering to the set speed limit is not about following the traffic laws; it is essential for your safety and that of others. Don’t be overconfident, stick to the rules, and everything will turn out well.
When you drive at a safe speed, you will have full control of the vehicle. The traffic around you, vehicle condition, and road conditions will govern you on the best speed to drive. Also, surrounding conditions like snow and rain will determine the safe speed to use.
However, it’s up to you to frequently keep your eyes on the speedometer to realize how you are going. Make correct changes when you suddenly know that you are speeding.
3. Do Away With Distractions
Distracted driving causes about 60% of car crashes. Always develop good driving habits by keeping off your mobile phone while driving. If you must eat, stop somewhere safe, have your meal, and continue driving. A few seconds of distraction can be dangerous to you and other motorists.
Never assume that using a hands-free device is okay. Any conversation while driving can divert your focus, leading to a crash. Don’t fiddle with the radio; use your mirror, or apply makeup as you drive.
Furthermore, don’t multitask when driving. Multitasking comes when searching for nice music, texting with someone, or calling a friend. Once sleepy, you should pull off the vehicle along the road and have fresh air to minimize sleep.
Just focus on the wheel and the road. Having a talkative passenger can be hazardous, too, since it will affect your concentration.
4. Don’t Drive at Night
As a first-time driver, you should avoid night driving. First, there’s low visibility, drunk drivers trying to make it home, and those with driver fatigue who are rushing home to get some rest. It is risky to drive during these hours when most motorists are not paying full attention to the road ahead.
You should be back home by sundown if you are a first-time driver. You can gradually increase your nighttime driving hours as you gain more driving experience. If not, you should be accompanied by an adult.
Night driving is too dangerous because most recent vehicle accidents are confirmed at night. Not only does night driving lead to severe crashes, but the accidents are deadlier.
Moreover, at night you may have low visibility. The car’s headlight only helps you to see a few feet in front. You may not be able to see anything crossing the road, like an animal or a pedestrian.
5. Limit Your Passengers
Having many friends in the car can be distracting and may increase your risk of causing an accident. The more people you have inside, the more dangerous it becomes. The National Safety Council prohibits having peers or siblings riding with you for at least a year or six months after receiving your driver’s license.
Limit the people you want to be with as you drive. It’s easy to get distracted by other teens who want to dance, sing, listen to loud music, take selfies, post on social media, and act wild.
6. Use all Your Senses While Driving
Make sure all your senses are alert whenever you are on the road. Your vision and sense of smell should be on high alert to capture the smell of burning oil or brakes.
You have to listen to any problems the vehicle might be experiencing or the sirens from the emergency vehicles. Don’t just focus on the road ahead; listen to your car and the surroundings.
You should feel the press and release of the brake and gas pedal when actively using them.
The full combination of your senses provides relevant feedback on what’s happening suddenly around you, keeping you safe as you drive for the first time.
7. Learn the Basics of Auto Mechanics
As a first-time driver, you should understand a few basics of auto mechanics, such as popping the hood, jumping a battery, adding oil and coolant to the car, changing a tire or light bulb, and more. You don’t need to be skilled at that, but you should understand the different warning lights from the dash.
Remember what you learned in that driving school in Brooklyn? Your car can break down at a place you least expected with no roadside assistance available. Knowing the basics can help you escape a simple mechanical problem faster than you can imagine.
8. Alcohol and Driving Should Be a No-No!
Drinking alcohol and driving is not only a dangerous habit but selfish too. If you cause an accident due to drunken driving, you’ll spend time in prison.
Many people die because of alcohol-related accidents, which can happen to you or someone close to you. Don’t be the one who’ll cause someone to lose their life because of your carelessness. Drive sober, drive safely.
9. Accelerate Slowly and Brake Gently
Self-control is vital when driving for the first time. You must resist slamming on that gas pedal when the light finally turns green. Your engine loves it when you slowly roll after a complete stop and gradually increase the pressure on the pedal.
Keep a steady hold on the steering wheel to get full control of your car. Don’t slam the pedal on the floor. Learn to recognize when you have to stop and apply light pressure on the brakes until you finally roll the car to a stop.
10. Always Follow the Road Signs
Don’t go out driving if you don’t understand all the road signs, pavement markings, and safety signals from the Department of motor vehicles. You should not ignore any road signs or safety signals because of your overconfidence. Every road sign is put in place for a reason and must be followed.
Road signs also help you avoid fines and penalties, especially for overspeeding and reckless driving. To avoid getting a speeding ticket for the first time, you should firmly adhere to the road signs while on the road.
Why is driving scary at first?
People get afraid to drive for the first time because they know they are new drivers and keep admitting they are quite unsure of their driving skills.
This generates fear and makes them fail to believe in themselves and continuously judge whatever they do when driving.
How do I stop being nervous when driving?
You can be nervous because you have a fear that something horrible may happen when you are driving. The nervousness may come from anxiety, and it is often significant.
You can overcome this nervous state situation by breathing deeply, staying in a comfortable posture, trying virtual exploration, relaxing, and other helpful ways.
What should a driver do before driving?
Before your first ride on the road, you should inspect the car’s exterior, check all the lights to see if they are working, especially the indicators, check the car’s rearview and side mirrors, and ensure the seat belts are functioning properly.
When you check and confirm that they are good, you can go for the ride safely.
Driving alone for the first time can be fun only if you are careful. While in control, you should also be on the lookout for any possible dangers. Accidents can be prevented if you carefully follow all the instructions you learned from your driving school in Brooklyn.
For starters, you can venture into areas you are familiar with, like your local area. Drive around the neighborhood first, then go to the highway later when you’ve gotten more experience and practice. Focus on controlling your car until you feel more confident about driving on the highway.