5 Tips for New Drivers

Advice to wildcat drivers new to the road!


Car steering wheel

You aced the written exam. Your eyes were tested. You did the impossible: you parallel -parked your mom’s car in the DPS parking lot. The grumpy old lady behind the desk hands you a slip of paper that means you are free! Well, sort of free. You are now a legal driver in Texas and wield the power of a driver’s license. However, as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Driving alone is fun, but there are lots of things you have to remember. Here are a few tips for all the new drivers out there.

  1. Wear sunglasses

Eye damage is no joke and eye cancer is a real thing. While sunglasses may not be the most hip thing, they protect your eyes from the sun and serious damage. I know, the fact that sunglasses protect from the sun is not new. That being said, just because the sun is not currently in your eyes does not mean you should not wear sunglasses. Sun reflecting off the hood of your car, other people’s cars or even the road can do the same damage the sun can. Next time you are behind the wheel, or even sitting passenger, make sure you slip on those shades to stay safe.

  1. Ignorance is everywhere

The night before my driver test, a good friend of mine gave me a piece of advice I will never forget and remember anytime I am behind the wheel. My friend told me to, “Assume you are the best driver and know everyone else is going to make dumb choices.” This means, while what you do behind the wheel is important, be more concerned with the cars around you. For instance, always assume people are going to run red lights. To avoid being T boned by those people, anticipate them running the light and do not slam the gas pedal as soon as the light turns green. This way the off chance someone does speed through the light, you are safe and your car is scratchless.

  1. Avoid Road Rage

Nothing infuriates me more than when people do not use their turn signals. I will be driving and suddenly someone is trying to cut in front of me out of nowhere, or randomly turns into a CVS when we are all going 60mph with no warning. My mom told me yelling at these people for breaking the law is dangerous. Not dangerous because those people can hear you, but road rage heightens blood pressure intensely and can kill you. So instead, my mom taught me to handle ignorant drivers surrounding me differently. When someone cuts me off and forgets their turn signal I simply sigh and say, “you forgot your blinker” or I will be sarcastic and comment how much I “love” when they forget to use their blinker. Both of these options are much more healthy than yelling profanities or rude remarks. At the end of the day calling out poor drivers does nothing, but it is better to calmly express emotion that bottle it up and explode somewhere else. 

  1. You are not too cool for the law

While the freedom of a driver’s license, driving and the open road is a powerful feeling it is important to remember that there are still laws that have to be followed. While it is fun to go four-wheeling in your truck with your pals or drive over curbs to get places faster it is illegal and dangerous. Ironically, the laws that are the easiest to forget are the most important. Did you know if you are under 18, you can only drive one other person who is under 18 with you that is not related to you. For example, if you have a little sister and have to take her to school but you also want to drive your best friend, you can. However, only your best friend can come. Her boyfriend will have to find other means of transportation. Also, if everyone is going 90 and the speed limit is 65 make sure you go the speed limit. Pay extra close attention to your speedometer because tickets are expensive and not fun to pay.

  1. Don’t blare music 

I know its a total buzzkill and puts a dent in your fun freedom, but it’s to keep you safe and healthy. When you blare the music in your car, it can permanently damage your hearing and even making you deaf. Also, when the music is so loud you can’t hear the world outside of the music. That means your ears fall deaf to things like emergency sirens and people honking their horns. If you are unable to hear sirens then you can’t pull over so they can get by to whatever emergency needs them. Also, if you can’t hear other person behind you honk then you could potentially get into a car wreck and those are no fun.