You did it! You finally got your license (or your learner’s permit) and now you can legally get behind the wheel. Whether you just turned 16 or are an adult who finally felt the need to get one, having a license/permit confers a whole new world of freedom that you likely haven’t experienced before. But like Spiderman’s uncle Ben said: “With great freedom, comes great responsibility,” …or something along those lines…anyway it doesn’t matter what he said! No matter what, it’s important to practice safe driving to ensure that you and everyone you will be sharing the road with remains as safe as possible. Following are 10 tips to help you stay safe while enjoying your new privilege.
- Obey the Speed Limits
Not to sound too much like your driver’s ed teacher, but pay attention to the speed limit! Seriously, it’s important — going too fast gives you less time to stop or react when something happens (plus it’s sort of against the law.)
- Don’t make Assumptions
If someone has their blinker on, the only thing you should assume is that they know how to turn their turn indicator on. They may not be turning at all, or they may have it on too early. Plus, you know what they say about assumptions…. don’t make them! (Bet you thought I was going somewhere else with that one, didn’t ya?)
- Make sure your Car has Gas in it
Consistently running your car on empty is not a smart move. You never know when you might be stuck in traffic or driving through an unsafe part of town. In those cases (and really any other time) the last thing you want to happen is for your car to run out of gas.
- Always Leave Early
The majority of accidents or missteps occur because someone is in too big of a hurry, and this ends up compromising their attention. To combat this, try to leave for your destinations as early as possible in order to avoid being in a rush and have the proper time to drive safely.
- Pass Safely and Legally
Only pass someone if you can go 10 miles per hour faster than the car in front of you without breaking the speed limit. Before moving back into the other lane, make sure you can see the front license plate of the car you’re passing in your rearview mirror. This ensures that you are far enough ahead of them to get back over without causing an accident.
- If your Windshield Wipers are on, your Lights should be too
This is not only the law, but also it helps you see clearly in bad weather conditions.
- Test your Brakes
When cold weather sets in and the first snowfall comes down, find a secluded area where you can test your brakes. It’s important to know how far in advance you’ll have to brake in order to come to a complete stop in slippery conditions.
- Don’t Text and Drive
You’ve undoubtedly heard it before, but it’s important to actually follow this rule. Texting and driving has claimed the lives of hundreds of overconfident multitaskers, and it’s always better just to wait until you reach your destination.
- Practice Right-of-way
You may think this is an easy one, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t actually understand right-of-way. To sum up, if you and another car arrive at an unmarked part of the road or a four way stop at the same time, the person to the right of your driver’s side goes first. So if there is only a person on your left, you have the right of way. And conversely, if there is a car on your right, they have the right of way.
- Don’t Drive if you’re Tired
You may think you can make it home, but your droopy eyes may complicate your plans. Driving when your sleepy puts you, your car, and everyone around you at risk.
Congratulations on your new driver status! Be sure to take tips from other experienced drivers and practice safe driving techniques at all times. Your car and your insurance payment will thank you!
Written by Marc LaFerriere at Dents Unlimited & Toalson Glass. Marc and his expert staff can solve almost any automotive issue, especially auto glass repair, such as windshield replacement, and dent repair in Columba, MO.