By Madeline Klein on December 6, 2018.
We know it can be a bit scary for a new driver to hit the road. Maybe it’s your child who seemed like a baby just yesterday. Or maybe you’re an adult who never needed to drive a car before now. Either way, hitting the road for the first time can be overwhelming. We’ve put together some helpful hints to ease the stress for our first-time drivers out there.
1. Keep up on your car maintenance
Yes, car maintenance can be annoying. We know. But keeping your car in tip-top shape is so important for safety out on the road. From making sure your fluids are always topped off to checking your tire pressure regularly, there’s a lot to do. We’ve got some tips for car maintenance that will keep your shiny ride just as clean under the hood as you’ll want to keep it on the outside.
2. Wait your turn
It’s easy to be a bit overzealous when you first hit the road. However, it’s incredibly important to take things slow while you’re getting used to driving. Be sure to wait your turn at four-way stops, and always give others the right of way. We know there are some weird roads out there that can make it difficult to know who should go first. But if you always wait your turn, you can hopefully avoid any mishaps that could lead to a car accident.
3. Check the weather
This may sound like common sense, but it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before driving. Even if you’re just doing a short trip, bad weather can pop up in the blink of an eye. This is especially important when driving in the winter weather months. If you’re a new driver and your schedule allows, plan trips or long drives around any expected bad weather.
With that said, you’ll want to practice driving in winter weather to build your confidence and make sure you’ll know how to react to slick situations. Practice in safe conditions with an experienced driver who can guide you on best practices.
4. Put that cell phone down
Sure, you probably hear this from people all the time. But did you know that more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes every day that involve a distracted driver, like those using a cell phone?
We get that it can be so tempting to sneak a quick peek at that text you just heard ding on your phone. Don’t do it though! Wait until you get to your destination to check your phone or make a call. And check out the new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature on iPhone if you have one. It’s a great tool to take away that temptation while on the road.
5. Embrace your headlights
Everyone knows you have to have your headlights on at night, and whenever you’re using your windshield wipers. But it’s a good idea to have your headlights on in the early morning and early evening too. It may seem light enough out, but it’s not always light enough in those in-between times for other drivers to see you well. Play it safe and embrace your headlights.
6. Get roadside assistance
We can’t oversell the importance of roadside assistance. Being a new driver is tough with all the rules of the road and learning the ins and outs of a car, so don’t make it more difficult by adding on the worry of being stranded. Some providers include Roadside Assistance Coverage in their policy (hint hint, we do!). If yours doesn’t, you’ll want to look into other options for this coverage. Either way, learn what your roadside assistance covers and add that number to your speed dial.
7. Review your insurance coverage regularly
You probably just bought insurance if you’re a new driver, or your child is a new driver. It can be easy to forget about it over the months after you’ve purchased, though. Make sure to review your coverage at least once a year. Life changes quickly and you’ll want to make sure your policy is always up to date.
With a little bit of research and some prep, new drivers don’t need to be too nervous when hitting the road. Just be sure to follow the rules of the road and always practice safe driving.