You studied, you took your driving test, and you passed that driver’s test with flying colors. The moment has arrived, and you can finally sit behind the wheel and drive. The thought of driving for the first time can be both exciting and scary. Driving is a serious responsibility. As a first time driver, you are going to make mistakes. Here are some pointers that can help you stay calm and keep your nerves under control when driving for the first time in Canada.
Start with Good Driving Habits
Before you put your keys in the ignition, you want to check your mirrors. Adjust them so you can see well. If you can see the sides of your car in the side-view mirrors, you do not have them adjusted correctly. Make sure that you adjust your seat to your comfort and height. With the right adjustment, you should be able to see through the front windshield and reach the steering wheel with ease. Take the time to practice using all the buttons and functions in your vehicle. Remember, the person in the front with you is an experienced licensed driver who is prepared to help.
Before making a turn, check your mirrors for blind spots. Turn your head both ways to look for cars and pedestrians. Next, use your signals before making the turn. When making stops, you want to observe traffic and crosswalks, and limit lines to make sure you stop appropriately. Before you back up, turn your head and look over shoulders. Use your mirrors to see behind you. Your eyes should be looking in the direction your car is moving.
Do not just look only at the car in front of you, but look at all the cars ahead of you. This is important because it enables you to anticipate sudden stops and changes in traffic. Before you press the break, check your back mirror. Keep a safe distance behind cars just in case you have to make a sudden break. These habits take time and practice, but in time it will be apart of your driving routine. Remember, if a car ahead of you is slowing down, even if they are in an opposite lane, then it is wise for you to slow down too. Perhaps you are not able to see the reason for the lull in traffic; the driver could be stopping for an animal or a pedestrian. Therefore, it is best to proceed with caution.
Drive Without Distractions
It is important when driving that you do not allow things to distract you from what you are doing. Eliminate the radio and your cellphone. If possible, keep your windows rolled up. Turn your cellphone off, or put it out of reach so it will not distract you. This will help you concentrate and pay attention to the road. A road is a busy place, so it is vital that you do not allow your mind to focus on other things, even for a split second, because it can be fatal.
Familiar Roads Are Best
Especially for the first time, driving in your neighborhood or on a familiar route is a good idea. When you drive on familiar roads, you are more aware of the road signs, and you know where you are going. This allows you to drive with confidence. Avoid highways until you have more experience. Not only are highways wider, but cars are faster. The fast speed and heavy traffic can be dangerous for new drivers.
While it may seem daunting, driving for the first time can open the door to new opportunities. Remember to practice good driving habits. Do not forget to gain experience driving on familiar roads before you take off on the highway.
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