Driving a car for the first time in your life? How exciting! And terrifying, mostly for your co-pilot. 🚗🚗
Today we are presenting our top 5 most important tips for people who are driving an automobile for the very first time in their entire life!
Now I am going to try and keep this very basic. Because, someone’s gotta do it. Anyone else notice how complicated the world seems nowadays? Don’t answer that.
Tip #1 : Make sure you know how to walk around your car the right way when going to get into it
This matters. Us driver training people refer to this as your ‘approach to the vehicle.’ Basically, it’s to make sure that:
- All 4 tires (or however many tires you have on your car) are at least appearing to be looking alright; not obviously flat or otherwise ‘un-road-worthy’ (unroadworthy isn’t a word? what the hell) And that the path between the two tires is looking fine, not a temporary home to a sleeping kitten, or worse.
- You’ve checked the ‘blind spot‘ area around your vehicle to make sure there is nothing there. Once you’re sitting in the vehicle, there is an area you can not see, directly in front and behind and to the sides of you. Anything could be there, and if you don’t check, you will run it over.
- You have eye contact, or at least are facing the traffic closest to you if your car is parked on the street. You don’t want your back to the traffic because you just don’t know what’s there. A large truck? An ambulance with lights and sirens? A cyclist and a large truck and an ambulance? A cyclist and a large truck and a car with failing brakes right beside them, plus an ambulance with lights and sirens? Not the greatest time to open your car door on the street and step inside, eh? Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic as per my nature. But you get the idea. 🚗
Tip #2: When Driving A Car For The First Time: Adjust your Seat Position, and Then Your Mirrors, In that order
This is a funny little detail that new drivers will not naturally think about.
Now if you just want to practice playing with your mirrors and seat (that is actually a good idea) then knock yourself out. NOT LITERALLY. Why are all the kids saying literally every 2 seconds? Where did this start? Someone tell me. I guess ‘literally’ is the new ‘groovy’, or something like that. I’ll get over it.
Anyway, it can take new drivers a while to get used to these things. Also, read this thing I wrote about If Your Car Won’t Go In A Straight Line. Brand new drivers often have problems going in a straight line. It’s totally normal. You have to look far ahead where you want to go, not at the ground right in front of you, as you might do when hiking a mountain.
How To Adjust your Driver’s Seat Video
Tip #3: Driving A Car For The First Time: Know How To Start The Car
No, you’re not supposed to know how to start a car from birth. Check out this guy:
How To Start A Car With An Automatic Transmission Video
Tip #4: Know Your Pedals
Feet For The Pedals 👣👣👣👣👣
ICBC examiners will fail people on the road test if they are ‘driving with two feet.’ Also, don’t drive with bare feet.
I mean you have 2 feet and 2 pedals for an automatic car, so what’s the problem? One pedal for each foot, right!?
But no! You actually aren’t supposed to use your left foot to control the vehicle’s gas or brake (with a few exceptions of course).
You’re supposed to use your right foot for controlling the gas AND brake pedals. And use your left foot for the clutch if you’re driving a standard.
If you’re driving an automatic, you can just ‘put your left foot away.’
The reason for this is that in a sudden emergency situation, the idea is that a driver may use the wrong foot and then there may be an unintended result, if you know what I mean.
If you are only using your right on the brake and gas, then there will only be one option in an emergency situation: brake or gas, but not both at the same time. If that made any sense.
Tip #5 : Where Are You Looking With Your Eyes?
Driving a Car for the first time and every time: Look where you want to go
Most new driver’s won’t naturally do this. They are more likely to look at stuff they don’t want to crash into, for some reason. I.e. looking where you don’t want to go. 👀👀👀
Why would you look where you don’t want to go? When you are applying for university, do you look at all the universities where you don’t want to go?
Anyway, it’s normal to be worried about hitting stuff when you’re new.
But if you stare at parked cars and stuff, you will aim your car straight towards them. Try to look far ahead where you want to go and that will work much better.
Bonus Tip From The Man Who Taught Me How To Teach People
“Keep the shiny side up.”-Paul
Okay, this wasn’t very simple or basic, but I just want to help all those brand new drivers in the world, because I feel their pain, so forgive me… 😂😇
Carmen C. is the founder of DrivingInstructorBlog.com After becoming an ICBC-GLP (Graduated Licensing Program) driving instructor at the age of 22, she worked for about 8 years teaching driving lessons in beautiful North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In 2012 she decided to pour her knowledge into a website and share this information with the world! 🌎 She no longer teaches, but enjoys writing and maintaining this blog, creating abstract art when inspired, and photography.