If you are taking driving lessons and getting ready to take your test, then you have probably heard your friends, family and driving instructor tell you always that the real test begins after you have passed the test and are out on the roads on your own. The days will be long gone when you can be reassured of the dual controls of your instructor. Now it is all up to you, and although that might sound daunting, you don’t need to worry. Many drivers who have recently passed their test forget that if they weren’t a good driver that could not be trusted to be behind the wheel on their own, then they would not have passed their test. Examiners follow strict guidelines and must adhere to them. They can only provide you with your highly anticipated license once all of the safety requirements are met.
Think of driving by yourself for the first time as something that is exciting instead of intimidating and fully enjoy your newly earned freedom. To help get you started, the following are some useful tips to help you get the most out of your first adventure.
5 Tips For Driving On Your Own For The Very First Time
You have passed your test, bought your first car, and made all of the arrangements for all of the various legal documentation that is required for getting on the roads like tax and insurance. It is now time to take the plunge into the unknown and drive by yourself for the very first time without having your instructor right next to you, but how do you get started?
- Get Comfortable
The very first thing that you want to do is sit stationary in your car and get comfortable. Most likely you will be using your new license to your full advantage and driving almost anywhere you have the chance to. Therefore, comfort is key. You will need to change the position of your mirrors and seat to suit you the best since every driver is a different build and height. It might take some experimentation in order to find what is best suited for you.
It might take a couple of tries to get your seat adjusted, so try to do that with the engine turned off since you want to be able to test pressing down on each of the pedals in the different seating positions that are available. Sit up straight and then move your seat backward and forward until you are able to push the pedals comfortably to the ground without needing to move your body, through just extending and bending your legs. Your heels should stay on the floor at all times, and just the ball of your feet should be used to press the pedals.
- Don’t Take Any Friends With You Right Away
You might be tempted to pick all of your friends up and go out on a road trip as soon as you pass your test. However, that might not be the best idea. You will be under a lot of press if your first passengers on your first driving trip alone are your friends. As your driver, you won’t want to make any mistakes. This is especially true if you are the first of your circle of friends to pass the test, and you might be tempted to show off your driving skills or feel the need to prove yourself.
Instead, jump in your car on your own and take a short trip. Many new drivers like driving around the block a couple of times or do some practising in a quiet industrial area or carpark before going out on their first journey on busy major roads. Especially if you know you are doing to need to work, or go to school in the morning, take about an hour in the evening to navigate slowly around to get used to driving in your car alone.
- Choose Off-Peak Times
If you plan to take your car out independently for a test drive before going on your first journey, choose an off-peak time to do so. Driving during a peak time like rush hour requires a lot of starting and stopping which means accurate clutch control is critical. Unless your new vehicle is the same exact make and model as the car you took your driving lessons in, it could have a slightly different bite point, which means you will constantly need to worry about stalling. Even if just go to a car park or around the block, most likely there will be more cars out than during off-peak hours like during in the evenings or during the day on a weekday.
- Avoid All Distractions
Everybody looks forward to being able to drive while blaring their favorite music and taking a trip through the McDonald’s drive-through. There is nothing that prevents you from doing that, but we recommend that you wait to do these types of things until you feel a bit more comfortable driving alone.
Loud music masks warning signs that can really be helpful for new drivers. Once you do begin t feel more comfortable driving and start listening to music, make sure to get a mobile phone holder and use a hands-free device. Follow all laws that cover using a phone while you are driving.
If you get caught using your phone while you are driving, could end up with some major demerit points on your driver’s license.
- Don’t Allow Others To Intimidate You
Finally, and most important of all, don’t allow other drivers to intimidate you. There will always be over-confident drivers who think they own the entire road and will try tailgating you and threatening you to drive faster or cut out at a junction or roundabout. The best thing to do is to ignore them. Don’t be influenced by what they are doing. You are going to stick with being a safe driver and follow the rules, they will just need to deal with that. If they really have a problem, they simply can pass you. There is a 99% chance that you won’t ever see that particular drive again, so don’t allow them to intimidate or anger you.
We hope that you found our tips useful. Best wishes on your first trip driving on your own!