If you are new to the world of driving or just want to refresh your memory, then this guide may just be what you are looking for. This article will address the different aspects of driving, give instructions on basic driving procedures, and tell you what not to do while driving on the road. Have fun, know what you are doing, and most importantly, be safe.
Steering in the Right Direction
Steering can easily be the most fundamental part of the driving experience. The entire foundation of driving rests with the process of steering as this tells your car the exact direction in which you want to proceed. Steering is not really that hard and all you have to do is shift the steering wheel in the direction you choose to go in. If you want to reverse your car, you will need to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction. Think of your car as a bike. The back wheels rotate in one straight line no matter what and that leaves you to adjust the direction of the front wheels to wherever you want to go. If it is raining and the ground is wet, be sure not to make any sharp turns or apply brakes sharply. Refrain from trying to look cool by just using one hand on the wheel. Always use both hands to have complete control of your vehicle. Remember, you will not look cool if you crash your car.
The shifting mechanisms of a car depend on what type of car you have. In new age cars, the shifting between gears is taken care of by automatic transmission. In sports cars you must use a standard lever, also known as stick shift, to adjust the gears but you do not need to hold down the clutch. In older cars, as well as tractors and other industrial vehicles, you have to use a standard shifter and you also have to use the clutch whenever you start the car or change gears. To use the clutch, simply press it down with your foot, shift into the gear that you want and then, slowly release your foot off of the clutch. If you take your foot off too fast, the car will stall out and kill the engine, forcing you to crank it back up and try again. If you are new to driving and you have an older car then just practise with it. You will get the hang of it eventually and soon it will not even bother you to deal with the clutch. Although it might take you some time to learn how to do this, once you get the hang of it, you will never forget how to do it.
Parking Your Car
Parking your car is easier than it looks.
To park forward: If you are parking forward, then first, drive your car next to the spot that you want to park in. Check to make sure that the coast is clear and then pull in slowly in order to make sure you do not hit any other cars or drive too fast.
To park backwards: If you are parking backwards, drive up to the spot you want to pull into and stop just after it so that the back of the car is facing the spot. Use your rear view mirror and side mirrors to make sure that the coast is clear and to help you navigate into the spot. Parking backwards is slightly more difficult than parking forwards but you will get the hang of it. The side mirrors line up with the back of your car and so, make sure that the back of it is lined up with any cars nearby in a way that you do not hit the other car. Pull in slowly and use your brake as soon as you are in, far enough.
Parallel parking: Parallel parking is even harder than parking backwards but this too can be quickly perfected. In order to parallel park between two cars, pull up next to the cars just far enough so that the back of your car is parallel to the side of the opening closest to you. Shift your gear into Reverse gear and steer the car in the opposite direction in which the cars are parked. Slowly back into the opening, using your rear and side view mirrors, and stop as soon as your car is halfway into the opening. Shift your gear so that you are now in the Drive mode and steer your car back to the direction of the parked cars. Pull slightly forward so that the front of the car is now in the empty space as well. Keep switching back and forth from Reverse to Drive and repeat these steps until your car is fully in the empty space. Brake and turn off your ignition. You have done it! You have now mastered all three fundamental parking procedures.
Responsible, Sensible and Safe Driving
While driving a car or any vehicle for that matter, one must remember that you need to exercise caution. Driving is an art that needs to be developed with a sense of responsibility. The following aspects need to be avoided at any cost while driving in order to ensure your safety and that of your fellow drivers on the road. Better safe than sorry and so, drivers must strive to fight road rage, be careful while street racing and most definitely avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Road rage is something that can potentially affect all of us. Aggression can change our perception and can make it harder to react to certain circumstances. Whether it is other drivers that are making you mad or you just got into a big argument with someone, take a breather and do not let those other people affect your driving or your actions in general. You are your own person and you need to take control of your life. When you are mad, you are not in your right mind and you tend do some pretty crazy things that you would not do if you were thinking clearly. It does not matter whether you are new to driving or have been doing it for decades, everyone can be affected the same way. So next time you climb behind the wheel, make sure that you are in a controlled state of mind and are ready to embark on the journey of driving.
Another aspect that is similar to road rage is street racing. It can be very exhilarating and can provide you with a rush of adrenaline but street racing is very dangerous not only to yourself but also to other people on the road. If someone pulls up next to you and wants to race, just ignore them and go about your own business. These people are reckless and challenging them to a duel is extremely rash and dangerous. If you are someone who likes to race, go to one of the many racing facilities where there are proper tracks and emergency personnel on site. If there is no such facility nearby, go out to a place where there are no other cars in the vicinity. Always make sure that there is an emergency personnel supervising the race. Do not yield to pressure of any kind. It is not worth playing with your life.
Alcohol And Drugs
Never get behind the wheel if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You could potentially harm not only yourself but also others on the road. Alcohol and drugs make it harder for you to concentrate on what you are doing and can change your perception of what is going on. Likewise, do not drive if you are exhausted or sleepy. If you find yourself falling asleep at the wheel, pull into the nearest parking lot or even on the side of the road, and take a little nap. Studies show that just fifteen minutes of rest will make you more alert than if you just drive straight through. You have to be careful on the road and take responsibility for yourself. If you pose a threat to yourself or others then it is your duty to do everything you can to take that threat out of the equation.
Some Useful Tips on Driving a Car
- Be in no doubt about your basics. Memorize all the traffic rules, regulations, signs and symbols.
- Be aware of one-way roads and lanes. Going in the wrong direction could cause immense damage to yourself and others.
- Fasten your seat belts before you switch on the ignition of your car. Never forget to do this as this could prove to be a life saving factor in the face of an accident.
- Ensure that you are alert and that your focus is entirely on driving. Avoid talking or getting distracted while on the road.
- Always use both your hands and no matter how confident you become, never try to steer the wheel with only one hand.
- Use both the rear and side view mirrors to be aware of pedestrians and traffic on the road.
- Last but not the least, have patience and bear in mind that constant practice will surely lead to eventual perfection.
Wish you a happy and safe driving experience!
Hopefully this guide has shed some light on the basics of driving for you. Another good source for learning how to drive is the videos at Driving Safety Tips. Driving can be a convenient means to travel and can even be fun if you know what you are doing. However, you have to train yourself to know what to do and what not to do while you are at the wheel.
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