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Hitting the Road: First-Time Driving Tips for New Drivers

So you finally got your license and you’re headed out, driving for the first time: congratulations! Whether you’re a new teen driver or an adult who started driving later in life, your first time on the road can be nerve-wracking.
To help keep you calm, we’ve got some first-time driving tips to pass along. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be the king (or queen) of the road in no time.

Start Small

Keep your first few trips to short distances. Start small, with quick trips to the store or just a quick drive around the block or your neighborhood. Until you get comfortable with your vehicle and driving, don’t tackle any extended trips. Just as with any new skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Practice in Different Weather Conditions

It’s tempting to only drive in perfect conditions, but this isn’t advisable as the weather can change at any moment. You don’t want to avoid driving in rain or snow, for example, and then find yourself stranded somewhere in a snowstorm or downpour because you don’t feel comfortable driving in the weather.

While you should avoid driving if conditions are poor, learning to drive in the rain and how to handle standing water on the road as well as what to do in the case of snow and ice (which may be necessary if you live in a winter-weather state) is necessary.

Minimize Distractions

Put your cell phone away, don’t turn on the radio if you think it will distract you, and limit the number of passengers you drive with. Until you get comfortable, you don’t want anything to draw your attention away from the road. If you are a new teen driver, many states restrict how many passengers you can have for the first few months just for this reason.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents among teens and young adults, with cell phones and passengers being the most dangerous distractions in your vehicle.

Avoid Rush Hour and Busy Roads

Try to limit your first time driving to non-peak hours (later morning or early afternoon) and avoid rush hour. You should also stick to local roads and don’t venture onto extremely busy multi-lane roads or the highway until you feel confident in your driving abilities.

Drive Defensively

While you can’t control how other people drive, you can control your response to them. Defensive driving helps you avoid accidents.

Always have your head on a swivel and know your escape route if another car is driving erratically. Know where you can safely move your car to avoid them. Avoid aggressive drivers and keep your speed down.

If you do get into an accident, consider your legal options before accepting any insurance company payouts.

First-Time Driving Tips for New Drivers

Driving doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating. In no time at all, you’ll be a pro and feel comfortable navigating any driving situation. Use these first-time driving tips to brush up on your driving skills and get comfortable in your car and on the road.

If you found these tips helpful, be sure to take a look around at our other helpful tips and tricks.