Sunday, October 28, 2012

Learning to Drive: Tips for Teens

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam
(Photo credit: epSos.de)
Most teens cannot wait until their 16th birthday so that they can legally get behind the wheel of a car and take off without their parents. But learning to drive can be a somewhat terrifying experience. There are plenty of rules that you need to learn, and there are other cars on the road that can make it nerve wracking. Plus, being in control of a large vehicle can simply be overwhelming.
Learning to drive may be scary at first, but you’ll eventually calm your nerves and learn to be more comfortable, especially if you use these tips.
Take the necessary precautions before you leave.
When you get into the car, you will want to make sure that your seat is adjusted to the right height so that you can see out the windshield. You will also want to take the time and adjust your mirrors. And finally, make sure that you put your seatbelt on.
Make sure that you have gas.
You should always make sure that your car has enough gas. A good rule of thumb is to fill the tank up whenever you hit one quarter of a tank. This way, you will never run the risk of running out of gas.
Eliminate any distractions.
You need to keep your focus on the road. This means that your radio should never be turned up too loud, you should never be playing with your phone, and you should never become distracted by anyone else in the car. Taking your eye off the road for even one second can result in an accident.

Be a defensive driver.
You cannot control what other drivers do, but you can control what you do. This is why it’s extremely important to be a defensive driver. Always drive at least two car lengths behind the car in front of you. Make sure to check your rear view mirror every so often. If you notice a car driving right on your tail pipe, move to another lane and let them pass you. Pay attention for other drivers who may be weaving in and out of lanes and stay far away from them. And always make sure to drive the speed limit.
Calm down.
Try to clear your head before you take off driving. If you are upset or worried about something, you will think about it more than you will focus on the road. If you are not emotionally stable to drive, then don’t. It’s very important that you know how to calm yourself down. This will help you be a better driver.
If something were to happen on the road that causes you to become anxious, such as a near accident experience or being surrounded  by speeding drivers, you can always pull over to the side of the road and give yourself time to calm down.
Practice in every condition.
You should always start to learn how to drive when it is sunny and dry outside. This will help you learn how to maneuver your car correctly and will give you the right light to see all of your surroundings.
But once you are comfortable driving during the day, you should also spend some time practicing how to drive in other weather conditions, such as rain or snow and even at night. The more you can practice in every weather condition, the more prepared you will be.

Garrett Payne works for Nissan auto in the sales department.  He enjoys writing about cars and driving safety in his spare time.

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