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Top 10 Things New Drivers Need To Know

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Driving for the first time can be scary, you aren’t sure what to expect, but you are full of excitement. Before you put the pedal to the metal and take off, you should read these top 10 things that all new drivers need to know.

1. There are no take-backs in driving. You need to pay attention to all of your surroundings because if you hit something you can’t take back that action with an apology. There are consequences that you have to own up to and face, not to mention it can be very pricey.

2. Speeding is overrated. You might think it’s cool, and you want to impress someone with your led foot, but it’s very dangerous. It’s not only hazardous to yourself but the other drivers on the road. Take your time, don’t speed, and enjoy the view you have while driving.

3. What to do when you get pulled over. You might be freaking out the first time you get pulled over or worry that the police are going to call your parents. They don’t call your parents, they give you the pleasure of telling your parents that you got a ticket for speeding. If you see those flashing lights and siren behind you, calmly turn your signal on and pull over when a safe spot opens up. Make sure to remain calm, it could be a simple routine traffic stop. Don’t get out of the car, stay in your driver's seat until the police officer approaches you. Be honest with them and do what they ask. They will most likely ask you why you think you got pulled over, and for you to provide your driver's license and car insurance. They will run your information and possibly give you a citation, don’t argue with the police, they are doing their job. Save your arguments for court.

4. What to do when you get a flat tire? It could happen at any time whether you are driving or not. If you are driving you will feel it, your car will feel like it’s being pulled to the side and that you can’t accelerate. If you get a flat while you’re driving, completely pull off the road in a safe, flat spot and call roadside assistance. If you know how to change your own tire, even better. Remember that spare tires are only for emergencies, they’re meant to get you to a repair shop. Don’t drive more than 50 miles per hour and keep the distance less than 70 miles.

5. Many new drivers don’t get the opportunity to learn to drive in snow or icy conditions. It’s important to keep even more distance between cars when driving, breaking takes a lot longer. You can’t just slam on your brakes if you do you will slide. Instead, reduce your speed so that you have more control. Turn 4-wheel drive on if your car has it, it will provide more traction and control.

6. Whether it’s your fault or someone else's, accidents happen. If you happen to get into an accident where there are no severe injuries, this is what you should do. If your car is drivable park it in a safe spot. Then call the police to report the accident, they will help mediate between you and the others involved. Exchange insurance information with everyone involved and get their contact information. Make sure to take your own photos of the incident and most importantly don’t admit fault. If your car is undrivable don’t let the cops call a tow truck, it’s far more expensive if law enforcement has to call it. Instead, call one yourself.

7. Number seven is to know how to deal with drunk driving, whether you are intoxicated or your driver is. It’s simple, don’t get into the car! There are many different alternatives than drunk driving and risking not only your life but the lives of others. There are apps like Uber and Lyft that offer affordable services to pick you up and drop you off at your destination. Your parents will be more happy that you didn’t drive drunk than angry with the fact that you were intoxicated.

8. Why should you wear your seatbelt? You should always wear your seatbelt whether you are driving or a passenger. Depending on what state you live in you could get a ticket for your passengers not wearing a seatbelt too. Usually, however, it's the passenger who gets the ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. Not to mention you are far more likely to DIE if you get in an accident and aren’t wearing one. You’re meant to fly through a windshield and live.

9. When the check engine light comes on, it’s on for a reason. You might be able to hear or smell that something, or it might not be visible. It’s important not to ignore this, take it into an auto repair shop to get it looked at. If you ignore the light, the problem could worsen and lead to even more problems.

10. Last but not least, get oil changes regularly. Oil changes aren’t an option like washing your car; they are necessary for keeping your engine in top performance. The standard recommendation has changed from every three months or 3,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual and check in with your trusted auto repair shop. A lot of it has to do with your engine, driving conditions, and how hard you drive your car.   

Whether you need a flat tire fixed, a tow, or an oil change, here at CARS of America in Glenview, we can do it all for you! We care about you and will take care of all your automotive needs.

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