Did you just get your driver’s license? If so, congratulations are definitely in order!
Getting your driver’s license for the first time is such a big accomplishment. You should feel proud of yourself and excited about how driving is going to help transform your life.
Before you get too excited, though, there are some things that you’re going to need to know as a new driver. Take a look at ten things that all new drivers need to know before they hit the road.
1. How to Obtain an Auto Insurance Policy
You have your driver’s license. You have your own car. And you have plans to drive down to the beach with your friends on Saturday morning to put your new driver’s license to the test. Everything is all set, right?!
There is one more thing that a new driver is going to need before they embark on their first road trip: Auto insurance. Just about every state has a minimum amount of car insurance that drivers need to have.
New driver insurance tends to be more expensive than the insurance offered to more experienced drivers. But you’re still going to have to pay to insure your car prior to driving around in it.
2. What Steps to Take to Maintain Your Car
Getting your first car is a milestone moment for most people. But it’s also a big responsibility. You’re going to be in charge of maintaining your car from now on once you begin driving it around.
That means changing the oil in it every few months, having the tires on it rotated every so often, and making any repairs that pop up. You’re not going to be driving around for very long if you don’t work to maintain your vehicle.
3. How Much Gas Is Going to Cost You
One of the other things you’re going to be responsible for when you buy your first car is keeping it filled up with gas. You’re going to need to work this into your budget to make sure you’re able to buy gas when you need it.
You’re also going to need to keep a close eye on how much gas costs at any given moment. The average price of a gallon of gas is currently hovering at around $2.20 a gallon, but that price is always changing.
4. Why It’s So Important to Follow the Rules of the Road
In the months leading up to you getting your hands on your driver’s license, you likely spent a ton of time learning about the different rules of the road. From when you can and can’t make turns to what signals you’ll need to use when you’re behind the wheel, this information should be fresh in your mind.
Now, the goal will be to follow all the rules of the road to the best of your ability. It’ll keep you safe and limit your chances of getting pulled over or being involved in an accident (more on both of those things in a few seconds).
5. How to Keep Your Composure When “Road Rage” Sets In
“Road rage” is something that affects almost everyone at some point in time. Studies have suggested that up to 80% of people admit to feeling road rage at various points.
As a new driver, you need to learn to control any road rage that you might feel when you’re driving. You don’t want to allow it to get the best of you and put you in a position where you might put yourself or others in danger.
6. What to Do If You’re Ever Pulled Over by the Police
No one enjoys getting pulled over by the police. Whether you’re a new driver or a driver with 30 years of experience under your belt, your heart is going to feel like it’s beating out of your chest when you see a police car with its light on driving behind you.
It’s a good idea for new drivers, in particular, to learn about how to behave when they’re pulled over by the police. It could prevent you from making a bad situation worse.
7. How to Respond to Being Involved in a Car Accident
Earlier, we talked about how many new drivers have to pay more for auto insurance policies than experienced drivers. This is because new drivers are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident.
Hopefully, you won’t get into any accidents during your first few years out on the road. But at some point, almost all drivers are involved in a car accident, which is why you need to know how to react to being involved in one.
From knowing who to contact about a car crash to knowing how to hire a car accident lawyer, you should educate yourself on what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
8. How to Change a Flat Tire
Changing a tire isn’t as difficult as it might seem. But it can be challenging for new drivers to figure out how to do it for the first time when they’re stuck on the side of a highway.
Read up on how to change a flat in no time at all so that you’re prepared to go through the process. You might even want to practice changing a tire at home to gain some much-needed experience.
9. How to Read a Map
Most new drivers nowadays scoff at the notion of them having to learn how to read a map. Who needs a map in 2020 when most smartphones have GPS built right into them?
In reality, you probably won’t have to worry about trying to read a map anytime soon. But if you ever find yourself driving around in a place without reliable cell service, you’ll be glad that you took the time to learn how to use a map effectively.
10. What to Do When Your Driver’s License Expires
Your new driver’s license isn’t going to last forever. Most licenses need to be renewed every two years or so, depending on which state you live in.
Find out about the new driver’s license requirements in your state and stick to them. It’ll help you avoid driving around with a license that has expired.
As a New Driver, You’re Going to Need to Know All These Things
As you can see, getting a new driver’s license in 2020 is a lot of work. You need to learn everything listed here—and more!—before you get behind the wheel.
Make sure you find out as much as you can about being a new driver before you hit the open road. It’ll help you enjoy your initial driving experiences so much more.
Read the rest of our blog to get more driving tips.