10 Essential Tips for Those Getting Ready to Drive
Whether you’ve never obtained your driver’s license or you’re getting your license back after years of not using the skill of driving on the open road, there are some important ways in which you’ll want to prepare for getting ready to drive before you get behind the wheel to let the rubber meet the road. Driving is a skill that’s good to know even if you don’t live in a car-dependent area. After all, in an emergency or long road trip where your family rotates who’s responsible for driving, it can help you and your loved ones to confidently and, most importantly, legally, get behind the wheel and navigate to the destination of your choice. There’s a freedom that comes with driving that makes teenagers and other folks who are preparing to drive excited to acquire this ability.
With any freedom, though, there comes an equal responsibility to use that newfound freedom safely. Some new drivers and people who are preparing to learn how to drive think that all you need to do to be able to drive is study for the permit test, pass the permit test, practice driving, ace the driving test, smile for your picture on the license, and then drive away. While that’s generally what the process of learning to drive can look like, there are other things you can do to make sure that you’re fully prepared to drive once you get your license.
1. Secure Your Vehicle
While your local locksmith company may not be the first place you think of contact when you’re getting ready to drive, making sure that your vehicle is secure and protected against theft, among other crime concerns, is an important part of owning a car. If the locks on your car have seemed a little too easy to try to open lately, it may be because your locks need to be replaced. Alternatively, if you have to use the jaws of life (or at least feel like you do) to get your car’s lock to let you into the car, it may also be time to replace your lock.
A car that’s almost impossible to access even with the right keys and other tools is just as insecure as a car that practically lets anyone access it even when it’s locked. This is because if you’re taking too long to unlock your car, the extended amount of time to open your car combined with the distraction of working to get the lock to let you into the vehicle may make you vulnerable to mugging, theft, and other crimes. Overall, a car that is easy to unlock but not too easy to unlock hits the sweet spot for a car owner to feel comfortable and secure with their vehicle. Once you’ve had your driver’s license for a while, it will also be useful to know where the locksmith company is for your vehicle and what their lock inspection process looks like.
2. Protect Your Vehicle From the Elements
Another important service to call as you’re getting ready to drive is a waterproofing service. They’ll be able to help you protect your car from snow, hail, rain, and other forms of precipitation all year round. If you worry about excessive precipitation ruining the interior or exterior elements of your car, it may be time to look into making your car more water-resistant than it is at the moment. A little bit of rain or snow might not test your car’s weatherproofing, but you don’t want to learn that your vehicle is not prepared to take snow or rain the hard way in the middle of a downpour or snow blizzard.
3. Avoid Parking Under Trees
As you’re getting ready to drive, you’ll want to contact a few tree services to compare rates for removing a tree from near your driveway. While parking under trees might seem like a good idea since they provide shade and protection from the beating rays of the sun on a hot summer day, it’s not recommended by those who have been driving for a long time. Parking under a tree may have the short-term benefit of keeping your car a little cooler than it would be if it were fully exposed to the sun, but the potential cons of this situation outweigh the pros.
If you park under a tree, your car will be at risk of getting dented or having a broken windshield from a falling branch. If the weather is not ideal, trees can also whip against your car in high winds if they’re slender enough that they can be moved by gusts of wind. What’s more, if you park under a tree, you may also put your car at risk of accidents because of the limited vision that the tree may create if it obstructs your view of the road when you try to back out or readjust your parking job. As a whole, parking under a tree can create more headaches than it’s worth so it’s best to try not to do that unless you must.
4. Drive Responsibly
As you’re getting ready to drive, you should start considering how you’ll get home from places where alcohol might be present such as event bars and weddings. Although you can have fun as a driver, you will have a whole new level of responsibility added to your life that you’ve never had to consider before. If you’re of the legal drinking age, you may be used to sitting back and letting someone else be the designated driver if you’ve never had a driver’s license before.
Once you get your license, you’ll have to think about how your decisions could impact other drivers and pedestrians on the road. This can feel like a hefty responsibility and it certainly is. You can’t be too cautious and you can’t take safety too seriously as a driver. When it comes to alcohol and driving, they rarely mix in ways that produce positive outcomes. Even if you make it home safely after drinking and driving once, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be so lucky next time. Additionally, you could face legal consequences if your driving is so impacted by your alcohol consumption that a police officer notices and pulls you over.
Although there may be a legal limit for how much alcohol you can consume before you’re at risk of getting a DUI charge, the truth is that you can’t be too careful when it comes to driving under the influence. Since alcohol affects everyone differently, you may discover that a small glass of wine is enough to impair you so you shouldn’t drive while someone else could drink a lot more before getting to that point. If you feel the effects of alcohol, you should call a taxi or hitch a ride with a friend who hasn’t been drinking. Getting yourself home safely without harming other drivers, pedestrians, or property is the most important thing. If that means taking public transit or leaving your car overnight at a garage, then so be it.
5. Learn How to Drive
Besides taking drivers ed courses, there are several ways to learn how to drive as you’re getting ready to drive. If you want a friend to teach you how to drive, you should make sure that you’re following local laws and regulations. To learn how to drive, you’ll need a permit or a learner’s permit, depending on your age bracket. Sometimes, the person teaching you how to drive may have to be over a certain age or have a certain amount of experience driving.
If someone in your family has a car and driver’s license such as your parents or grandparents, they may be the most natural choice for a person to teach you to drive. Before you decide how you want to learn how to drive and who should teach you, you may want to think about how you learn best. If you learn best in a calm environment, maybe don’t ask your friend with a short fuse for their temper to teach you how to drive. Alternatively, if you need someone to kick you into gear to learn how to drive and hold you accountable, it may be best to pick someone good at dishing out tough love.
Different learning styles may also dictate the best way to learn to drive. If you’re a visual learner, you may want to find videos or books with pictures to teach you how to drive. For those who do best if they’re learning in a hands-on environment, it can help to get right into it and learn as you go. Others who do best learning by reading might want to find articles or books on learning how to drive to prepare for taking their driver’s test. There’s no right or wrong way to learn to drive as long as you’re safe and legal about the ways that you’re doing it.
6. Maintain Your Vehicle
While local transmission repairs are usually not the first thing on your mind as you’re getting ready to drive, learning how to maintain your vehicle is an important aspect of learning how to be a good driver and a good car owner. When you maintain your vehicle, you make it safer for you to take it on the road. This protects not only you but also other drivers on the road. Learning about oil change schedules, inspections, and windshield wiper replacements are also crucial aspects of driver education that some folks neglect in favor of more interesting or relevant topics.
7. Keep Pests Out
While calling pest control might seem like it has nothing to do with getting ready to drive, you won’t want an infestation to keep you from using your vehicle. If your car has a wasp’s nest in it, you shouldn’t try to handle it on your own. Likewise, you won’t want to deal with an ant problem in your car without the professionals if it’s gotten to the point where it’s an infestation. Pest control services may also help you prevent future infestations if that’s a concern of yours as a future driver.
8. Park on Paving
If your pavement is uneven in your driveway, a pavement grading service can even it out as you’re getting ready to drive. You should park on the pavement when you drive if it’s possible. Sometimes, you may have to park on gravel if necessary, though. You should also make sure your driveway is safe for parking at home.
9. Drive Safely
When you’re getting ready to drive, you should put safety first. No one wants to attend a funeral service for someone unsafe while driving. Driving safely protects you and others on the road. It also ensures that you won’t break any laws while driving since most of the laws on the books for driving are designed to make sure that drivers, pedestrians, and other community members are safe.
10. Follow the Law
While it might seem like common sense, you’d be surprised at how many drivers end up calling a criminal law attorney early in their driving experience because they broke the law. When you’re behind the wheel, you must follow the law. If you don’t know what driving laws are in your area, you can research them before you get your driver’s license and drive.
Some of the steps that you can take as you’re getting ready to drive to make the process easier and more effective include protecting your vehicle from harsh weather, getting the locks on your vehicle checked for security concerns, and even calling pest control to prevent pests from infiltrating your car or truck. While some of these steps may seem strange or unnecessary, they can help you prepare to be a driver and car owner if you’ve never driven or owned a car before. Although it’s easy to focus on the excitement of getting your driver’s license and heading to anywhere a car can take you, it’s also a large undertaking that’s not all about what’s fun or easy. If you put in the work to prepare for your driver’s license, you’ll be a responsible driver who will be good to have on the road in no time.