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Congratulations! You’ve earned your driver’s licence. You are surely looking forward to the freedom and independence that driving will bring. However, operating a car is only the first step. There are other things you need to know in order to stay safe on the road.
About once a month, it is a good idea to do a routine safety check on your car. Buy a tire gauge and use it to check your tire’s pressure. Pull out the dipstick and check the oil level. Check your fluid levels.
Emergency First Aid
You should carry an emergency first-aid kit in the trunk of your car. This will be of enormous help in the event of an accident. You can prepare a kit yourself or buy one ready-made at an auto parts store. You should have jumper cables, flares, and Fix-A-Flat in the trunk as well.
Roadside Assistance is Your Friend
You’ll be glad you spent money on roadside assistance the first time you run out of gas on a lonely road. They will come and bring you the gasoline that will get you going again. They’ll also come and help you if you get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car. For about $100 a year, you can get this help each time you are stranded. The most popular roadside assistance company is the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), but there are several others to choose from.
There are many different weather conditions, and you need to practice driving in them all. Don’t assume you know how to drive in the snow until you’ve done it. Icy weather is even more dangerous; even experienced drivers have difficulty on slippery roads. As the seasons change, practice with an experienced driver in unfamiliar weather conditions.
Remember one rule and you will be fine: pedestrians always have the right of way at a crosswalk or at a controlled intersection (that’s an intersection with yield signs, stop signs or traffic lights). In these situations, you must always yield to the pedestrian. However, even if a pedestrian doesn’t have the right of way, it is important to keep an eye on them. Remember, you are driving a car that could easily do them harm.
There are things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of car theft. Lock your doors even when running into the store for a moment. Don’t leave money or valuables in plain sight in your parked car. Put electronic devices in the trunk or glove compartment.
Don’t Drink and Drive
You’ve undoubtedly heard this warning before; however, it is surprising how often people ignore it. Don’t drink and drive. You can ruin lives – including your own – by operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Driving is a great privilege and a great responsibility. It offers freedom, but it also carries risk, both to you and others. These tips will help you stay safe as you begin to enjoy the independence that comes with driving a car.