5 Tips for New Drivers
There are new drivers hitting the roads all over Central Texas every day – new drivers license in hand and a 2,000lb+ vehicle at their fingertips. At Star Collision, we want to make sure new drivers are safe and prepared, so we put together a few tips that every driver should know.
- Keep up with maintenance
Cars need to be properly maintained in order to function properly. Here are a few standard maintenance items to keep in mind:
- Change your oil and oil filter approximately every 3,000 miles (see your owner’s manual for specifics)
- Replace the air filter when you change your oil
- Keep proper air in your tires and check them monthly
- Get your tires rotated approximately every 7,500 miles
- Be sure to get new tires when the tread is worn down
- Replace windshield wiper blades as needed
- Prepare for intense weather
In San Antonio, we get some pretty intense weather including rain, hail, and ice. It’s important to prepare your vehicle in the event of inclement weather. The most important thing to pay attention to is your tire tread, pressure, and condition. Driving with old tires in rainy or icy conditions is a recipe for hydroplaning, losing control, and wrecking your car. You’ll also want to be sure your windshield wipers are working properly to keep your vision clear – and having an ice scraper on hand is key in the winter months.
- Have some emergency items
It’s good to be prepared in case your vehicle breaks down, you get stuck in crazy traffic, or you get injured due to a wreck or other accident while you’re out. A basic first-aid kit that includes things like bandages, sterile alcohol pads, and antibiotic ointment can come in handy in the event of an injury, and a flashlight, jumper cables, and drinking water are also good to have on hand in case of other emergencies.
- Don’t tailgate
It is estimated that more than one third of all accidents are caused by tailgating. Be sure to follow the three-second rule to avoid a tailgating accident. When following a vehicle, pick a road sign, building, or other roadside marker and count to three (1-1,000, 2-1,000, 3-1,000). If your vehicle passes the same marker before you count to three, you are too close. Increase your following distance to allow ample time to stop in case the driver in front of you needs to brake suddenly.
- Know your vehicle
Every vehicle is different, and you should take some time to get familiar with some of your car’s key features, including:
Year, make, and model
- Where to find your Vehicle Identification Number
- Your license plate number
- Cruise control function
- Ideal tire pressure
- Dashboard warning light meanings
- Navigation system, if applicable
We hope these tips help new drivers stay safe on the roads. Be sure to send this blog post over to your favorite new driver!