Getting your own driving license from a renowned driving 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.
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 that may be 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, use these tips to guide you;
1. Be Comfortable with Your Car
Before setting out on your first drive alone, you should 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, and 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 you are already driving down that road. You know what will happen next.
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 the others. Don’t be overconfident, stick to the rules, and everything will turn out well.
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 have to 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 you have while driving can divert your focus, leading to a crash. Don’t fiddle with the radio either or use your mirror or apply makeup as you drive.
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. As you gain more driving experience, you can gradually increase your night time driving hours. If not, you should be accompanied by an adult.
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
Whenever you are on the road, make sure all your senses are alert. 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, also listen to your car and the surroundings as well.
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 at least 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 get out of a simple mechanical problem a lot 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, and this 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 have to resist the urge to slam on that gas pedal when the light finally turns green. Your engine loves it when you slowly roll after a complete stop and increase the pressure on the pedal gradually from there.
To get full control of your car, keep a steady hold on the steering wheel. 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 are not to ignore any one of the road signs or safety signals because of your overconfidence. Every road sign is put in place for a reason, and it has to be followed.
Driving alone for the first time can be fun only if you are careful. While you are in control, you should also be on the lookout for any possible dangers. Accidents can be prevented so long as you follow all the instructions you learned from your driving school in Brooklyn carefully.
For starters, you can venture into areas you are quite 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. Just focus on controlling your car until you feel more confident about driving on the highway.