Tips for the First Time Driver

So, you’re finally done with your 6-week driving school. Everything is all set – your dad bought you your new car, and you’re excited to impress the girls in your school. But before you race to the wheel, remember this one important thing: you own the car, NOT the road. You might be very excited, but your parents won’t be too happy if you crash that car on your first day. So, what do you need to do? Here are some helpful points to consider before you go on your first drive.

– Check your car – Whether you’re going for a short ride or a long one, always check your car. Check the tires, the seat-belts, and the mirrors. While you were in driving school, you always had your driving instructor breathing down your neck. Annoying, right? Now it would feel strange that you’re all alone. There would be no one there to remind you, so you have to get your act together.
– Don’t panic. – Keep your cool. Keep thinking of ways to distract yourself from the fear of driving – like how cool you’d look when you arrive in school, or the look on your girlfriend’s (or boyfriend) face when she sees you in your new car. Loosen up, and don’t focus so much on driving. Try to act naturally. There’s no instructor to tell you what to do anymore.
– Don’t distract yourself – While thinking of ways to keep your cool, don’t overdo it by daydreaming. The last thing you need is a distracting thought that would take your mind off of driving and into something else. Since it’s your first time, don’t bring answer your phone just yet, or don’t eat. A little music can help relax you.
– Don’t forget your license. EVER. – This pretty much says it all. It’s not that I’m putting negative thoughts in your head, but you’ll never know what happens on the road.
– Remember what driving school taught you – You didn’t go through that six week hell for nothing, right? So you best remember everything. You were taught to read signs, so read them well. You were taught how to drive safely, then drive safely. If you encounter bad drivers, don’t imitate them. Just go about your business.

Tips like these can only go so far. I still believe that experience is the best teacher, specially for driving. So go ahead and practice. For those who still feel inadequate, there are some, like Indiana driving schools, that offer intermediate driving lessons. If you can get a hold of that (and if you have the resources of course), then do so. There’s actually a study that says these extra courses make better drivers. And remember, driving is supposed to be fun and cool. Just don’t let it get to your head to much. Enjoy your drive!


Peter Patrick loves to travel with his wife and two kids. Peter owns the Indiana Driving Schools website.