What you need to know before learning to drive
For most individuals, learning how to drive is one of the most exciting experiences. But before you get into the driver’s seat, there are several things you can learn that will increase your confidence as a driver on the road. Having basic knowledge about cars, road signs, car maintenance -- such as how to change a flat tyre -- and the importance of having car insurance, is very valuable when you embark on your driving journey.
Here’s a guide that outlines some of the things you should get to know before you switch on the car engine for the first time.
Road signs and basic traffic conditions
As a new driver, getting accustomed to the basic rules of the road before you start driving is one of the best things you can do. Ensure you understand a 4-way stop and what to do at stop and yield signs. You should also know about driving signals to ensure you can communicate with other motorists on the road. Observe the person who will be teaching you how to drive, by looking at how they check their mirrors and blind spots. You can also ask them to explain what the different road signs you see on the road mean before driving anywhere.
As already mentioned, being able to change a tyre, knowing how or when to change the oil in your car, being able to read a tyre pressure gauge, or how to jumpstart your vehicle can be valuable should you ever face any problems on the road-side. In most cases, the person teaching you how to drive does not mention these things, so it’s up to you to ensure you are clued up about basic car maintenance. Having a basic knowledge of how to take care of a car will keep your vehicle running in good condition while you’re on the road.
While car accessories such as blind-spot monitors, moonroof controls, stereo controls or a remote starter are not fundamental to learning how to drive, familiarising yourself with these accessories will help you get used to the features of your vehicle’s buttons and switches and that will ensure you never get confused while driving on the road. Being sure of where everything is before you start driving will ensure you don’t have to remove your eyes at any moment from what’s in front of you.
Consider asking a close friend or a family member who has a lot of driving experience to head out with you for a relaxing drive, where you feel comfortable to ask all the questions you may have. This will also allow you to see how experienced drivers handle different traffic situations. And lastly, remember that learning to drive is a process that takes time, and therefore needs you to not only understanding everything about driving but also requires a lot of patience!