Whether you’re a brand new driver or have had your license for a year or two, driving can still be nerve-wracking. Regardless, you’re very new to driving and it’s hard to memorize the entire driver’s manual. Roadway Insurance, a MAIF insurance provider, offers some tips to stay safe.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
This may seem like a given, but it can be tempting to not put it on for what you know will be a short trip. Many people are out on the roads and can be dangerous drivers. The weather is unpredictable and animals or children can run into the road out of nowhere. If you have to slam on the brakes quickly or get slammed by another car, your seatbelt could save your life or keep you from injury.
It’s always better to be early than to be late. You don’t want to have to rush and drive dangerously to get to where you’re going on time. Make sure you leave with a bit of buffer time for the unexpected as well. You never know when they may be doing construction on a power line on your route, or a crash could happen in front of you.
Know Where You’re Going
Nowadays, we have GPS units in our pocket at all times with cellphones. But try to get an idea of your route ahead of time. Look on your phone and see the roads that it wants you to take. If you don’t like driving on highways or certain roads, see how long alternate routes will take you. You’ll feel more confident driving if you have an idea of where you’re going before you get into the car.
We have so many distractions in our life lately. But when you’re driving, it’s important to be focusing on the road and what’s around you. Set your music to a radio station or playlist you like before you start driving. Get a good volume so you don’t have to mess with it while you’re driving.
Unless you’re using it for GPS, keep your phone out of sight. It’s helpful to get a mount for your phone if you plan on using it for directions. Turn on the voice instructions as well so you don’t have to keep looking at the screen for the next turn. Depending on your service provider or phone, there are features where you can turn on a “do not disturb” function while you’re driving. It’ll let people know you’re driving when they try to contact you.
Eating food or drinking something are also distractions. You don’t want to make a mess in your car, so you’re focusing more on that than you are the road. Having passengers in your car may be something you want to avoid as well until you’re more comfortable with driving. Talking and laughing with them takes your focus away from what you’re doing.