When learning how to drive for the first time, it is important to build some habits. Some of these habits require you to check a couple of things before driving on the road. We will go over these things that you should be doing before driving.
Have your driver’s license handy
As a new driver, it is important to remember to bring your driver’s license when driving. Never leave your house to go for a drive without your license as this is against the law. One thing to also keep in mind aside from simply bringing this piece of ID is to remember the date your license expires. Bringing an expired driver’s license is basically the same as not bringing your license at all. A helpful tip is adding the date your driver’s license expires to your calendar so you are able to renew your license in a timely manner. The Ontario’s driver’s license is valid for 5 years. Click here if you need to renew your driver’s license in Ontario.
If you aren’t used to driving yet, it is important to test your shoes out by stepping on the foot pedals and seeing if you’re comfortable stepping on them with the shoes you’re wearing. Let’s say you’re not comfortable stepping on the pedals while wearing heels, it might be best to wear another pair of shoes you’re more comfortable driving in while leaving your heels in the car. By doing so, you can drive safely and opt to just switch to your heels after arriving at your destination.
Adjusting your seat, headrest, and steering wheel
Make sure you’re comfortable when in your driving position. One of the things that ensures your comfortability is adjusting the driver’s seat, the headrest, and the steering wheel. You want to make sure that there is enough distance for you to reach the foot pedals while allowing your arms to stay relaxed as you hold the steering wheel. You also don’t want your head or neck to be in an awkward straining position. Allow yourself to adjust the headrest to make yourself more comfortable.
Adjusting the mirrors
There are three mirrors you want to look at before driving: the two side-view mirrors and the rear-view mirror. Take a look at each of these mirrors after doing the final adjustments on your seat and see if there are any adjustments that need to take place for these mirrors. These mirrors are important when driving since you will constantly be glancing at them. Adjusting these mirrors when you’re already driving may not be the safest thing to do, so this is one of the necessary steps before driving out.
Gas meter and oil level
Make it a habit to check your gas meter before heading out as well. You want to plan your trip ahead of time and decide if you’ll be needing to stop by to refuel your car. Running out of gas in the middle of a busy street or in the middle of nowhere are scenarios you don’t want to happen and are easily preventable once you make this a habit.
Something that you should check at least once a month is the car’s oil level and quality. By opening the hood of your car before turning on the engine, you can check the oil level and its quality to see if you’ll need to be replacing the oil.
Headlights and taillights
After starting your car, test out the headlights and taillights to see if they’re working properly. These lights are important when signalling to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. By law, it is also required to have both of your headlights being able to operate.
Check your tires
At least once a month, make it a point to check your tire pressure. This can be easily done in a gas station as they often would have a pressure gauge available to use. If you want to keep your own pressure gauge in your car, most gas station stores have affordable handheld pressure gauges you could purchase.
If your tires are running out of air, you could use the gas station’s air compressor to pump them up. Your vehicle would often come with a manual stating the ideal tire pressure. If you cannot find your car’s manual, you may also notice a sticker on the side of the driver’s seat that gives you these needed air pressure numbers for your car.
Fasten your seatbelt and lock the doors
Lastly, don’t forget to buckle up for safety once you’re ready to drive on the road. The impact from potential car accidents are greatly reduced by having your seat belt fastened. Data shown from the CDC shows the estimated lives that were saved through the use of seatbelts in the US. It is also one of the laws to have your seatbelt fastened.
Another important safety measure is locking your doors. This is another measure you could do to reduce the impact of potential car accidents. Plus, you don’t want any strangers to possibly get in your car!