General Question

Fred931's avatar

Tips for new drivers?

Asked by Fred931 (9429points) November 19th, 2009

Somebody just got a perfect score on his permit test and would like to hear from the Fluther community on the topic of, and those related to, good, sane driving.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

missingbite's avatar

Don’t talk on the phone. Play the radio at a reasonable level. Re-read your states rules every couple of years. Know how to use a four way stop. Have fun!!!

filmfann's avatar

You are not invulnerable. You will probably have an accident, even though you think you never will.
Keep your head out of your ass, and keep a safe distance behind the car ahead of you.

Likeradar's avatar

You are not your car. Don’t get crazy if someone else cuts you off, rides your ass, or does other ass-ish behavior.

And if you got a perfect score, congrats. :)

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Buy a beater car for your first car. It will get dinged.
Also understand that while your car can provide the illusion of isolation, you still are affecting a lot of other people by your mere presence on the road.

zephyr826's avatar

I know that as someone who got a perfect score, you already know this, but always wear your seat belt, and don’t let anyone in your car go without one either.

faye's avatar

Go slower on the highway than you want to especially in bad weather. Look to the left and right when you have a green light so you won’t get T-boned. and the bigger vehicle or crazier guy has the right of way! Enjoy!!. we’ve all had fender benders but if you are being defensive, hopefully that’s all.

proXXi's avatar

Become intimately familiar with the vehicle.

Know where the car’s corners are.

Adopt a relaxed and correct driving position. (sit as far from the wheel as is comfortably possible, slight bend in the arms with the hands at 8 and 4 o’clock, able to fully depress the pedals.

Learn to listen to what the car is telling you. Pay attention the the communication coming from the wheel, stickshift, seat, pedals.

Use occular driving (look up the road about three car lengths ahead where you want the car to go) that’s where it will go.

Get all your braking and gear changing done before the turn. Once you reach the turn’s apex (the point where the turn starts to open up back to straight) return to the throttle and power through.

Keep your hands on opposite sides of the wheel when turning, this provides greater control than having both hands next to each other. Before tight corners place your hands on the wheel so they’re at the 8 and 4 position in the middle of the turn.

If you’re driving a car with a manual transmission (strongly reccomended) learn to Heel and Toe to syncronize the drivetrain. It’s the only way to downshift smoothly.

The easiest thing you can do to enhance your safety is follow cars at a safe distance.

Trust your car, trust your instincts, trust your mirrors.

Avoid simutainiously braking and turning when you can.

Inflate tires to the maximium pressure reccomended by the car manufacturer. It increases the tires slip angle and improves acceleration and steering response.

The most important advice I can give you is driving is it’s own interactive activity. Driving is it’s own persuit. It’s not a time to get other things done. Learn to appreciate driving for it’s own sake. Driving itself is gratification enough.

Likeradar's avatar

Also, a car can be a lethal weapon. Don’t let your friends pressure you into using it irresponsibly.

Fred931's avatar

@zephyr826 Actually, the moment I first got into the car I forgot about that. Hopefully temporary over-excitement, but still not a good sign.

zephyr826's avatar

@Fred931 You’ll be okay.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Don’t drive with the radio on for the first six months.
Always wear your seatbelt.
Never drive with headphones on.
Never, ever, ever text while driving.
Don’t talk on the phone while driving.
Buy a city map.
Keep jumper cables and a gas tank for the trunk.

rangerr's avatar

If you have to question whether or not you should stop or if there is enough room between you and a car on the side of the road—- stop, then go slowly.—especially if it’s a cop car.

Cops sit in either obvious places that you won’t look, or in places you can’t see. Don’t speed.

If you get stressed, or scared of a situation or a near-accident, pull over and breathe for a few minutes.

Make sure you have enough oil in your car especially if your car is manual.

If you don’t know how to drive manual, learn it too.

emma193's avatar

Make sure you remember to turn your headlights on at night – it can be easy to forget if they don’t automatically turn on.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

Driving is like a ballet, pay attention to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE around you as far as you can see in all directions, and try to pick out the natural music that occurs on the road. And speaking of the road, always look at traffic patterns far ahead of you, and get ready to respond to the way people are driving. Once you find the pattern, being a great driver becomes a talent you can always build on.

I have been driving for 33 years, and I still learn something new on the road now and again. No one is ever going to be perfect.

SamIAm's avatar

understand how making a left hand turn works – if there is a car going straight, it has the right of way. also, when you are driving, keep your eyes on the cars ahead – if you see brake lights 5 cars ahead of you, prepare to stop if necessary. just pay attention overall.

rooeytoo's avatar

Never assume the other guy is going to stop at the stop sign, give up the right of way, stop before he hits you.

You must always drive defensively.

proXXi's avatar

Observe proper lane discipline:

Drive in the rightmost lane possible.

The left lane is for passing only.

Shift left, get your passing done, then shift right.

Your cruise contol and fuel economy don’t matter, Accelerate, pass, shift right and get the passing lane clear.

Dog's avatar

Always leave a cushion of space in front of you- trust me I have averted 4 major wrecks with that life-saving space!

In an intersection do not ride up the the bumper of the car stopped at the signal ahead of you. Give yourself room to get out of the lane if that car becomes disabled or a wreck happens in the intersection.

Cooldil17's avatar

Go as fast as you possibly can, I find that I never have enough time to do anything, but when I do have time, I still speed, why, because I can. Be safe when your speeding though like if there is a cop around slow down to a reasonable level. Make sure you have all your information together and by that I mean which cops you know and state troopers, for example I have 2 FOP Cards one from a state trooper and when from a sheriff. You always have to keep your affairs in order, always, I have only gotten one ticket and thats because it was my first time getting pulled over and I didn’t know which information the cop wanted but I showed him the FOP card too late so he turned a ticket that was going 40MPH over the speed limit into a seatbelt ticket, saved me thousands. Don’t listen to the people on here saying that you need to keep space and blah blah blah because there is always going to be someone even worst than how they say you’ll supposedly be driving on the road. I always say if not you then me. Accidents do not happen to everyone btw my mom has never NEVER gotten in an accident and we both drive the same way, so in conclusion get a radar detector and your fop cards and know who they are from and all the details. And you’ll be fine. I drive an average of 90MPH.

Likeradar's avatar

Oooh, oooh, I have new advice!
My best new driving advice is… ignore @Cooldil17.

proXXi's avatar

Regarding exceeding the posted speed limit:

Don’t do it, at least ‘till youve been driving 4 years. That said I agree with the following advice word for word ; )

If you’re going to speed treat the act like any other potentially dangerous and risky activity (take it seriously)

No, beverages, smokes or phone calls. Both hands on the wheel and your undivided attention.

As ive mentioned before use the Valentine 1 radar detector. Dont bother with anything else. Mount it properly and learn to use it correctly.

Scan: Constantly be looking up and down the road. Check curves, hills, overpasses, shadows, etc.

Always keep in the rightmost lane you can (no need to look like your speeding any more than necessary). Pass only on the left of course. Slow some as you pass others as a courtesy.

Headlights off whenever possible. Cops are more likely to target a car with it’s lights on if surrounding cars don’t have them on. If your car has daytime running lights they can on some cars be disabled by pulling up the parking brake one click without problems.

Read other drivers actions: Ask yourself why theres so many brake lights up ahead. Could be the Five- Oh. This has saved me many times. Why did that car up ahead slam on the brakes and veer right?

Scan for Police infrastructure: Lines on the road for speed checking by aircraft. Lines on the road after an overpass. Check overpasses for cars stopped in the middle of the top. Look for paths in highway medians that the Fuzz use to U turn when speedtrapping.

Use common sense: Slow down for blind corners, when cresting hills, when entering a town or state.

Make an honest assesment as to whether your hardware’s up to the task of high speed driving and hard braking. Choose a car that is fast but doesnt look fast. That huge decklid spoiler might be keeping your ass planted to the pavent at 130 mph but it’s also saying ‘put the gun on me officer!’

Listen to your gut, learn to sense where cops will be. It can be done.

If your’re getting pulled over hide the radar detector. Use a wet finger to get rid of the suction cup marks.

Never admit you were speeding with an excuse. Apologise to the officer for having not paid attention to your speed. Swear you wont be so distrated in the future.

gemiwing's avatar

Assume every other driver is an idiot and adjust your driving accordingly.

Take care of your car. Even those silly things like shocks. They’re important.

Keep an emergency kit in your car. Jumpers, bottled water, extra oil, blanket, packets of cheese and crackers, maps, candle, small shovel and a container of bullet air.

Mr_Quick's avatar

When driving on major roads like freeways and divided highways, never sit in the left lane always keep to the right lane except while passing!! This point can’t be stressed enough. Also keep checking all your mirrors, all the time, this way you can be aware of all that is around you.

BluRhino's avatar

Here in Texas, there are signs everywhere that say, “Drive Friendly”, which everyone ignores, they are so Hell-bent on the freeway; be the friendly driver, please! Try to stay aware of those around you..There are many, many drivers out there that have no business behind the wheel of anything, and are predictably unpredictable. Oh, and NEVER drink and drive, not even just one. (trust me on that one)

SamIAm's avatar

i was just driving and thought of a few things to tell you:
(1) don’t assume the person in front of you is going to go through a yellow light (or a green one for that matter – long story, but the bottom line is don’t assume anything)
and
(2) you stop at a stop sign for a reason, to look all ways – don’t forget this

Fred931's avatar

OK, lets see if I can give a response to each answer here that needs a response from me…

@PandoraBoxx
@missingbite
@everyoneelsewhosaidsomethingaboutacellphone (click)
I don’t even have a cell phone! And if I were to even get a cell phone, it would probably be a 3-button Jitterbug or some crap like that. I dare you to meet my parents AND like them/believe they are sane

@filmfann
@Likeradar
@proXXi
Very good, wise ass answers. heh heh

@The_Compassionate_Heretic
Here’s what I have, but its red, has a ruined paintjob, and has a spoiler. omfg

@faye
@Mr_Quick
My parents say they’ll be grandparents before they let me onto an interstate. Just some more hatred on the list

@Psychedelic_Zebra
Please don’t use ballet. Driving can be (and usually is) more man-like reekish than that Didn’t want a horde of angry women after me

@Samantha_Rae
Doesn’t the person taking a right turn have more right-of-way? I know you were talking about when you were making the left turn, though

@Dog
Umm… I couldn’t decide on a good comment for you. Either I’m out of juice or you’re verrrry lucky… probably luck

@Cooldil17
How the curseword are you still alive?? Or maybe all your suggestions are quoted from the Bad Driver’s Handbook; I even have the daily calendar!

@BluRhino
My dad used to live in that driving hellhole, and it scares the crap out of him as well as my mother whenever we go there to visit our relatives.

@all (click it)
Thanks for all the tips and tricks (and hopefully jokes, @Cooldil17). They’ll probably be very useful in the near or very distant future.

So how was my first day of having a permit? Well, the actual first day shouldn’t count, as I only spent a few minutes up and down my neighborhood in the evening in a slackidaisical mood. Today, though, my mother was crazy enough to let me drive on a school morning to the grocery store, just a mile from the school zones. It was only half a mile, but traffic in that area at that time of day is horrendous, so I was a little proud of myself. Obviously, my father found out and was a little shocked. Later, I drove my dad around a mostly empty subdivision (This one; it doesn’t show up from the sky), and he said that, for a new driver, i was 9-out-of-10 quality. Not bad for my first real day, huh?

I do expect at least one “great answer!” for spending 15 minutes writing this, you know… not in a forcible way, but in a “you know it’s the right thing to do” way.

proXXi's avatar

Yeah @Fred931, I have no idea what i’m talking about..

Fred931's avatar

@proXXi Not so sure if you got the joke or not.

Cooldil17's avatar

The second you start being the friendly driver will be the second you get into an accident and you fault for it. So do not under any circumstances be the friendly driver. Worst advice ever.

proXXi's avatar

@Cooldil17 Drivers like you that think of driving on public roads as a competition are the worst enemy of the proper driver.

I’d rather deal with an imcompetent driver over the likes of you any day.

@Fred931, Never forget that driving is a cooperative activity.

Others driving like a selfsh ass is not license for you to do the same.

Cooldil17's avatar

@proXXi Your incorrect because the second someone smashes into the back of your vehicle and your being the “nice driver” and the minute you “I’m sorry” or any phrase that shows your taking credibility even though your just trying to be nice, like when someone bumps into you and its not your fault but your nature to apologize. The other person will take you to court, and quote you saying, Well they said “I’m sorry” they took fault for the accident, its not my fault. And the judge will say they are right, and then what your stuck with a huge bill for someone else’s mistake. But who cares because you were nice right?

proXXi's avatar

I think you’re confusing my point. @Cooldil17, driving defensively and cooperatively isn’t the same thing as being a sucker.

Likeradar's avatar

@Cooldil17 It is possible to be kind to other drivers and not drive offensively without saying “I’m sorry.” Not admitting fault is something I think all drivers are taught- but that has nothing to do with speeding, throwing around cops’ names like a get-out-of-jail-free card, and working to be the second most dangerous driver on the road.

Sebulba's avatar

Go on a racing circuit and do rounds faster and faster till you start to understand when and how your car starts to loose grip and how to correct such issues.If you can’t do that try the handbrake on no-traffic hours and roads with low speed and you’ll learn a lot

proXXi's avatar

GA @Sebulba Graduate from motorist to driver: Be one of those that know your car.

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