Basic Driving Tips for New Drivers

November 8, 2013

These basic driving tips for new drivers cover stick shift operation, safety issues, and getting cheap new driver classes and insurance.

New Driver

By following a few simple tips, new drivers can easily mask their inexperience and make driving more enjoyable for yourself and the other motorists on the roads.

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Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
It may sound simple, but many people, and new drivers especially, have trouble following that simple suggestion. Before your car ever leaves the driveway, adjust your mirrors, your seat and anything else you may have to before you take off. Doing this prevents you from having to make these adjustments on the road, which can easily take your eyes off of what's in front of you and create a dangerous situation.

Stop Touching the Radio
Everyone likes listening to their favorite music while driving. It helps pass the time on those long trips, and can make short trips fun. However, it can also be highly dangerous. If your vehicle has radio controls on the steering wheel, use those instead of leaning over to touch the unit itself. It will make it easier for you to focus. Better still, set your station before you depart and leave it there. It's also recommended to drive with the radio off during your first few times behind the wheel. Get to know your vehicle before you add other distractions.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off
In today's world, everyone is connected wirelessly. Text, email, phone calls, music--today's wireless phones are multimedia powerhouses. While that's all fine and good, they are not driving aids. If anything, they are driving inhibitors. Studies have shown that driving while trying to send out a text message is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Do yourself, and everyone else on the road, a favor and turn your phone off. Turning it off is the easiest way to avoid a distraction from a message or a call. If you really need to use your phone in an emergency situation, pull over to the side of the road or into a gas station first. Never talk on the phone while driving. In some states, this is illegal and a ticketable offense.

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Wear Your Seat Belts
This is another tip that may sound painfully obvious, but many people don't take heed. First and foremost, wearing a seat belt is scientifically proven to help prevent injury in an accident. Second, not wearing your seat belt is a ticketable offense in 49 of the 50 states. Save yourself the hassle, and the money, and just wear your seat belt. It could save your life.

Stay in Your Lane
Yet another seemingly apparent rule of driving that many people just can't follow. Pay close attention to what lane you are driving in. If you cut a person off you can cause an accident, or a backup in traffic. If you find it difficult, consider getting a car with a hood ornament and using it as a guide to make sure you stay in your lane more often.

Three Learning Tips for Driving a Stick Shift

Driving a stick shift vehicle is a great way to expand the range of cars that you'll be able to operate. Manual stick shift operation is more involved than that of automatic driving. Read on for a few tips on how to learn to drive stick.

Master the Start
Perhaps the single most basic thing that you'll need to practice when you learn how to drive a stick shift is the start. Starting your vehicle from a resting position into first gear should be your first goal; this will be crucial before you take your car out on the road.

Practice Stopping
One of the most common mistakes that stick shift driving students make is when stopping. Be sure to depress the clutch as you break when you're approaching a full stop. This will ensure that your vehicle doesn't stall out as you come to a stop.

Avoid Overgassing
One of the other most common problems that many people suffer from when trying to start their vehicles and trying to learn how to drive stick shift is overgassing the car. This happens when you flood the engine with too much gasoline and is quite wasteful of fuel.

Related Questions and Answers

What Places will Provide Cheap New Driver Classes?

School districts are usually a good place to go for cheap new driver classes. In some cases, new driver classes might be subsidized for students who live within the school district. Additional cheap new driver classes may be organized by community centers and, similar to school districts, cities that offer new driver classes may provide discounts to enrollees who live within the city limits. Depending on local department of motor vehicles regulations, cheap new driver classes may also be offered by the DMV, or additional DMV classes can be required after a new driver receives too many points on their probationary license.

Will Safety Classes Get You the Cheapest Car Insurance for New Drivers?

Yes, safety classes can get you the cheapest car insurance for new drivers. Although, the level to which new driver car insurance is discounted after safety classes varies between insurance providers. There are a range of classes that can help educate young drivers and lower their rates. Some programs that help new drivers get the cheapest car insurance are offered by a driver education school. These programs can include advanced driving or defensive driving courses. Driver safety programs are also offered by insurance companies. After watching training videos and proving driving ability, young drivers may become eligible for additional discounts on car insurance.