I’ve never driven a car in another country, but I gave this advice to my children when they were learning to drive and I think it applies everywhere.
I would like to recommend that you follow these suggestions for at least 30 days or 30 trips when you are driving your car. Enjoy your journeys and BE SAFE!
- Buckle your seat belt and adjust all the mirrors BEFORE you start the car or BEFORE you start driving. First things first.
- When you are a new driver, always know where you are going. Don’t make your first driving excursion to a shopping mall that you don’t know how to get there. For several weeks or for an entire month, drive on roads to places that are very familiar to you so that you know what lane to be in to make certain turns. After you are more skilled with handling the car, you can drive in unfamiliar areas; but the first step in learning to drive is how to handle the car and be comfortable doing it. The second step will be learning how to navigate using GPS and finding unfamiliar places.
- Unless you have a driver’s permit and must have a licensed driver next to you, do not drive with any friends in your car for about 30 days. Tell them that you are not allowed to drive friends around. Friends in the car can be very distracting. Then after you have friends in the car, limit it to one or two at a time.
- If you have an opportunity to learn to drive a standard transmission (or dual-clutch transmission), do it. It means you will have a broader ability to drive cars that may not have an automatic transmission.
- Drive during the day before learning to drive at night.
- Ignore road rage. If someone gets mad at you and honks at you, try to ignore them and go on. Some people are not considerate drivers so learn to be polite behind the wheel.
- Save high speed interstate highway driving until you are very comfortable driving in slower traffic.
- NO TEXTING. Even at a stop sign or a stop light, do not be tempted to look at your phone. It leads to very bad habits.
- Never ever drink and drive. Never. Ever. And never get into a car with someone who has been drinking. Do not let them drive.
- Drive defensively. This means that you have to not only watch out for yourself, but also for another driver that may not be paying attention. Make sure no one is pulling out when you have a green light and they have a red light. It doesn’t matter if you are right and they run the red light or turn in front of you and hit you. It’s better to watch out for them and avoid an accident altogether!
These may sound restrictive, but a car is like a 2-ton weapon. It can hurt people so it is very important to keep distractions to a minimum. Being a smart, skillful driver means paying attention to what you are doing ~ DRIVING!
Enjoy many happy times driving to many happy places!
Words to remember: Psalm 25: 4-5
Show me the right path, O LORD ; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.