Are you or a family member getting their license? Becoming a new driver can be exciting and scary all at the same time. Driving is all about experience and being cautious of your surroundings. While driving is fairly easy, it’s simple to see how easy it is to become distracted behind the wheel. Here, Doug Yates Towing & Recovery discusses new drivers and helpful driving tips to make those worries go away before getting behind the wheel.
Helpful Driving Tips
PRACTICE Makes Perfect
The main thing about driving is that the more experience you have, the better you will be at driving. With that, it’s important to practice driving as much as you can. Don’t just practice driving in empty parking lots. Young drivers need to learn to merge, change lanes, drive in a busy city, and handle a car in multiple weather conditions. If there’s something you feel uncomfortable about then practice it even more. It’s crucial that young drivers conquer their fears before driving alone to avoid a potential accident.
Distractions lead to mistakes and mistakes lead to accidents. It’s important for young drivers to minimize all potential distractions when learning to drive. Know yourself, and don’t take any risks. Put your phone away and make sure your family or friends will not distract you while driving. If you do want to play music, pick the station you want before you leave your driveway. Don’t mess with your phone or radio while in traffic.
Know Your Surroundings
While driving, it’s important to know what is in front of you and behind you. With that being said, it’s also just as important to know what is on either side of you. Keep an eye on the traffic all around and look for potential obstacles.
Tailgating isn’t just illegal, it’s extremely dangerous. In most states, it is actually the cause of most rear-end collisions. There’s a reason for this: if you’re too close, the odds of you hitting the car in front of you are much higher. Always leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
AVOID Abrupt Starts & Stops
Keep an eye on busy traffic and traffic lights. If you are approaching a yellow or red light, start breaking immediately. A gradual decrease in speed is not only better for you and your passengers but for your car and fuel economy as well.
Check YOUR BLIND SPOTS
Blind spots are one of the most dangerous aspects of driving, particularly when passing. Get to know your car, and figure out where your blind spots are.
USE YOUR BLINKERS
This goes along with your blind spots. It’s important to use your blinkers. Even if you fail to see a car, your blinkers might signal a passing vehicle and can reduce the likelihood of an accident. Even if you don’t want to, try to remember to use your blinkers at all times.
DEFENSIVE Driving Tips
No matter how good of a driver you may be, there’s always a chance that someone else could hit you. Be aware of the other cars at all times. If someone is speeding or weaving in and out of traffic, avoid them if possible. When you’re on the interstate, keep several car lengths between you and the car in front of you. This gives you time to react if the vehicle ahead of you loses control.
Hands Free Law
Texting and/or talking while driving is extremely dangerous and illegal in most states. The only reason you should ever have your phone while driving is for the GPS. If you use GPS, get a phone holder that attaches to your dashboard, so you don’t have to look away from the road to check your map.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
Alcohol and cars DO NOT mix…ever. If you’re going to an event with alcohol, plan the night out so that you don’t find yourself getting behind the wheel. Use a designated driver, call a UBER/LYFT or use public transportation. Never let your friends convince you that anyone is “OK” to drive. If you drive drunk, you may find yourself in a legal and financial nightmare that could change your life forever.
BE Smart & CAUTIOUS
Becoming a driver for the first time means taking on a new set of safety rules. Park in well-lit spots at night and always lock your doors. This is especially important for women. If you have a pet, never leave them in a locked car: temperatures inside cars can reach deadly levels in a very short time. You’ll also need to get into the habit of monitoring your gas and engine lights. If you notice a light come on, be sure to get it checked out ASAP. An early fix can make a big difference and cost way less in repairs if left unattended.
Move Over Law
The Move Over Law is a state-level law that requires all drivers to move over one lane or slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on. It also requires drivers to make way if they cannot move over in time. The purpose of this law is to protect first responders working on the side of the road by providing them with additional safety measures when responding to emergencies.
Last but not least, watch the speed limit. You will find most speed limits posted along the roads or highways. These are for everyone’s safety and should be abided by at all times. If you get caught speeding, you will end up having to pay a fine and/or get your license suspended.
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Doug Yates Towing and Recovery is located in the city limits of Chattanooga, one of Tennessee’s most vibrant business communities. Since 1946 it has been the company’s mission to conduct business with integrity and professionalism in all phases of day-to-day services. We offer 24/7 towing and recovery services for all motorists and vehicle types. Our team of tow truck technicians will help get your vehicle wherever it needs to be safely and securely. You can count on us for all your towing & recovery needs.