There’s nothing like driving down an open highway road with the windows down and the wind blowing your hair every which way. It sounds romantic, but even for new drivers, it’s important to remember to be safe on your ride.

Whether it’s around town or across the country, it’s important that driving tips for beginners stress safety and comfortability, especially if other people are in your car. Make sure you have the smoothest ride possible by following these 10 tips.

1. Be Familiar With Your Car

It’s your car, and it’s your responsibility to know its ins and outs. Even if it’s not your car, make sure you familiarize yourself with whatever vehicle you’re driving. 

Every car has different buttons and knobs in different places. Every car also has its own feel to it, so even getting a feel for how it feels to accelerate and brake is worth knowing.

2. The Ergonomics of the Car Seat

You can adjust your car seat in pretty much any modern vehicle. Depending on your comfort and visibility needs, you can change the angle and reach of the seat. 

Car ergonomics sounds like a complicated term, but it isn’t really. Familiarize yourself with it to ensure a smooth ride for you and your passengers!

3. Accelerate and Brake With Care

Your accelerator and brakes have a range of use. You can slam on them with all of your force, but you should only save that for instances of danger where you need to speed up (hit the accelerator) or stop immediately (hit the brakes). 

Otherwise, you don’t need to put your full force into accelerating and braking. That said, you shouldn’t be overly cautious about how much to accelerate or brake.

Knowing how much force to press down with on these is something to get used to, so try it out in your car before having passengers in it. It will help you get a feel for what will give you the smoothest ride.

4. Stay on the Slow Side at First

While it’s fun to pretend you’re in a high-speed chase (or maybe not so fun), sticking with slow speeds at first will help you grow more comfortable with driving. It will also teach you how to drive smoother. 

Let those speedy people pass you at first, and concentrate on keeping the speed limit. You can wait to drive on the interstate until you’re more comfortable.

5. Observe and Anticipate What’s Ahead

If you get wrapped up in conversation with your passengers, you might miss what’s ahead and find yourself in an unsafe situation. 

Observe what’s ahead of you. Then you can anticipate what to do before you need to do it. This is a skill that also takes plenty of practice.

6. Have a Smooth Park

Parking is just as important as the driving aspect. You don’t want to struggle to park, especially when other people are in the car or you’re holding up a line of cars behind you. 

Use your mirrors to help you out. If you’re perpendicular parking, use your side mirrors and windows to help guide you to the closest you can be to the curb without hitting it. If you’re parallel parking, use your rearview mirror to help you out.

7. Avoid Tailgating

When the car in front of you is going particularly slow, or there’s a lot of traffic, it’s easy to want to tailgate them to urge them to go faster. However, tailgating is dangerous. 

Keep two cars’ length of distance between you and the car in front of you. This helps ensure that you can brake on time without hitting the car in front of you.

8. Start With Roads You Know

Start with roads you know before you move on to unfamiliar roads. Even using a GPS while you’re driving can confuse and overwhelm you at first. 

Practice driving on the roads you know to avoid getting in accidents or getting lost. You can even look at a map to get a feel for the layout of roads in your area.

9. Keep Both Hands on the Wheel

This might sound like self-explanatory driving tips for beginners, but it’s always a good reminder. Keeping both hands on the wheel in their proper positions allows you to be more versatile in responding to traffic. 

Keep your driving position, and stay focused. It doesn’t mean being uncomfortable, but it does mean to remain ready to react to the road in front of you.

10. No Texting and Driving!

This one gets an exclamation point because of how important it is. Under no circumstances should you be using your cell phone and driving at the same time. Driving while distracted killed 2,841 lives in 2018 (drivers, passengers, and pedestrians). 

It is incredibly unsafe, and it will make your smooth ride plummet into a possible accident. Save yourself and your passengers the worry by keeping your phone put away while you drive. If you need to answer it, have your passengers help you out.

11. Stay Relaxed

Driving is a big responsibility, and there’s a lot to remember. That doesn’t mean you need to grip the wheel so tightly your knuckles turn white. 

Take a few deep breaths, and keep the safety of yourself as the driver and the safety of your passengers in mind. It doesn’t need to be scary, but it is a responsibility nonetheless. Enjoy your ride with your passengers too! 

Don’t Be Scared of These Driving Tips for Beginners

We all were beginner drivers once. It’s normal to feel stressed when you’re still learning how to drive smoothly. Following these driving tips for beginners will help you create the smooth driving environment you want your passengers to have. 

Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more on other life matters like this. Stay safe on the roads, drivers!