The best time to start driving is when you’re a student. First of all, you’re pretty used to learning new things at this point in your life. Secondly, you can take it slow and practise before you hit the highway traffic. Plus, whether you live on campus or in town, having a car will make you really popular with your pedestrian classmates.
However, new drivers aren’t the best drivers. So, here are some great tips on how to be a better driver when you first get behind the wheel.
Loosen up on K53
Nobody is watching you to make sure you do your checks. It’s no longer about moving your whole head in a noticeable way. It’s now about actually checking your blind spots and rear-view mirror. So, do it in a way that’s comfortable for you. Obviously you have to do your checks, but do them naturally rather than with exaggerated gestures. If you focus on doing things as you did them in your test, you’re going to lose track of what’s actually happening on the road.
Face your fears
Stop taking side roads to avoid traffic and don’t circle the parking lot in Cape Town to get out of having to parallel park. You need to face your fears as soon as you’ve got that coveted driver’s license in your hand. If you’re horrified at the idea of rolling on an incline, find the steepest (and most deserted) hill and practise your clutch control. You’re going to be driving for many years to come and you can’t avoid difficult parking spots, traffic and scary uphills forever.
Be aware of the state of your car
Don’t ride your clutch or abuse your brakes. Remember to treat your car well because you want it to last. Get used to your vehicle and what it needs. Check the oil and water regularly and don’t let your petrol light go on too often. If you’re worried about the condition of your car and think that it may not be safe, look around for roadworthy testing centres in your area.
It can be a little scary when you first start to drive, but you’ll get used to being behind the wheel in no time. It’s all about being comfortable on the road and developing your own driving style.