If you’re just initiating to learn how to drive a car and have been told that it is inherently not an easy life skill to master then this is truly the case. While learning driving can open a lot of opportunities for you in terms of convenience of commuting, a sense of independence, and autonomy, it demands a lot of responsibility and careful considerations as well. By learning to incorporate some essential skills, you will not only feel less stressful but also ensure maximum safety on the roads for yourself and your surroundings.
Looking for a comprehensive guide that focuses on the driving basics that every beginner should keep in mind? We’ve got you covered with our compilation of 7 crucial driving skills.
1- Familiarize Yourself with Your Vehicle:
Knowledge and skills both matter equally when it comes to driving. Before you practically start driving your car, it is first important to get a complete understanding of your vehicle & it goes beyond merely knowing the engine or transmission type. To begin with, you should be aware of all the necessary information available in the owner’s manual such as knowing where the bonnet is located, what is the adequate tire pressure of your car and which safety features your car is equipped with and how do they work.
2- Adjust Your Seating Position:
Yes, you read that right. Correcting your driving seat position is also a significant skill to acquire as it is more than a matter of comfort. By doing so, you not only obtain requisite control over the vehicle but also ensure maximum visibility of the road ahead & prioritize your safety by minimizing the chances of accidents. Make sure to sit straight with your shoulders leaned back against the seat and knees bent enough to reach the clutch & brake pedals.
3- Be Attentive:
The ability to pay undivided attention to your surroundings while driving cannot be emphasized enough. It is as critical as having comprehensive knowledge of the rules of road & vehicle regulatory skills. To avoid any probable crashes and injury, it is important to be cognizant of physical indications such as traffic signals & hazards. You should also be able to interpret visual cues timely & exercise accurate judgment in response to the situation at hand.
4- Learn to Use Turn Signals:
Closely related to being attentive, the capability to effectively use turn signals is yet another major way of avoiding accidents. These indicators alert the other drivers on the road about the direction the vehicle is going to take and therefore, prepares them to act accordingly and ensure their safety as well as that of others. In addition, it is equally important to turn the signals off once you’ve changed the lanes to avoid confusing other vehicles.
5- Working with Brakes:
Whether your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock brake system (ABS) or not, determining how to stop it when an emergency strikes is a crucial driving skill that cannot be overlooked. Instead of braking excessively hard, press the brake pedal down firmly so that it reaches its threshold limit. This practice has been regarded as one of the safest and sensible ways to stop a car & you can work on your skills even when you visit car showrooms for test-driving sessions.
6- Practice Defensive Driving:
No matter how thrill-seeking your outlook may be, it is important to ensure your safety and that of your surroundings on the road. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to learn & incorporate defensive driving skills while driving. It means that you need to have the ability to foresee, plan & respond timely and safely to changing traffic conditions on the road in order to avoid possible accidents & remain safe. The whole process of defensive driving involves driving at lower speeds, maintaining focus and control over the vehicle and being alert to road situations.
7- Keep Yourself Calm:
Last but not least, keep yourself calm as much as possible. Driving is a task that not only requires careful attention but also complete peace of mind and therefore, it is important to not let your mood or other drivers’ behavior make you indulge in harmful practices like over-speeding, failing to indicate signals or even involving in road rage. Keep reminding yourself that you are not only responsible for your safety but for others’ safety as well.
In sum, driving can either be a strenuous activity or a fun-filled and exhilarating experience depending on your skillset and approach. To improve your skills & become a better driver, it is imperative for you to keep practicing and learning along with considering the necessary safety measures so that your driving experience remains enjoyable yet secure for yourself, for those who travel with you and the general public around.
Kamil Riaz Kara is a content contributor at Mainstream Pakistan and associated with digital marketing for the last seven years. Presently working at Digital Eggheads, a digital marketing agency in Karachi.