Embarking on your driving journey is an exciting milestone. As a new driver, there’s a lot to remember before you hit the road. At Swerve Driving School, we are committed to not only teaching you how to drive but also ensuring you are fully prepared for every drive. Here’s a checklist we’ve compiled to help new drivers like you start off on the right foot.
1. Know Your Vehicle
Before you start the engine, take the time to familiarize yourself with your vehicle. Understand where all the controls are and how they work, including the headlights, windshield wipers, and emergency lights. Adjust your seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to ensure you are comfortable and have a clear view of the road.
2. Check Your Vehicle’s Health
A quick check can prevent many on-the-road issues. Ensure your car’s fluids (oil, coolant, brake fluid) are at the right levels. Check that the lights and turn signals are working, the tires are properly inflated, and the brakes are in good condition.
3. Plan Your Route
Especially important for new drivers, plan your route before you start driving. Use a GPS or a map app to familiarize yourself with the route, including any one-way streets or difficult intersections. Knowing where you’re going can reduce anxiety and help you focus on driving.
4. Adjust to Driving Conditions
Be aware of the driving conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. Slow down in bad weather, and give yourself more time and distance to react in heavy traffic.
5. Follow Traffic Rules
Always obey traffic signals, signs, and road markings. They are designed for your safety and the safety of others on the road. Understand and follow the speed limits, and always use your turn signals when changing lanes or turning.
6. Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions
Keep your attention on the road. Avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in any activity that could distract you. Remember, even a few seconds of distraction can lead to an accident.
7. Practice Defensive Driving
Anticipate potential hazards and be prepared to react. Keep a safe following distance, be aware of the drivers around you, and always have an escape route in mind.
8. Be Confident, But Not Overconfident
Confidence is key in driving, but overconfidence can lead to risky decisions. Trust your skills but remain cautious and aware of your limitations.
9. Keep Important Documents Handy
Always have your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information in the car. These are essential in case of an emergency or if you’re stopped by law enforcement.
10. Stay Calm
Driving can sometimes be stressful, especially in heavy traffic or unfamiliar areas. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and don’t rush. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to pull over safely and take a moment to relax.
At Swerve Driving School, we believe that good preparation is the foundation of safe driving. By following this checklist, you’re setting yourself up for a successful and safe driving experience. Remember, driving is a skill that improves with practice and patience. Stay safe, and enjoy the journey!