Essential Tips for First Time Drivers
You’ve reached a major milestone in your life—getting your first driver’s license! Here are nine tips to keep you safe and sound on the road!
Learning to drive and taking to the road has become an indisputable rite of passage for many young people. Getting behind the wheel for the first time is exciting for both the sense of power and freedom that the privilege brings. But this newfound freedom comes with a new set of responsibilities, and it’s imperative to follow the rules of the UAE roads if you intend to enjoy your privilege to the fullest.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Interior in April 2019, 45% of all road accidents in the UAE were caused by young drivers ages 18 to 30. Using phones while driving, speeding, and failing to keep a safe distance between cars were the most common causes of accidents identified in this age group. These statistics are generally true throughout the world.
So, if you’re a first-time driver or the parent of one, here are a few tips to ensure your safety on the road.
Know Your Car
Whatever type of vehicle you drive, the rules are the same so it’s wise to get to know your car. You might want to begin with reading your vehicle’s manual, but that can be tedious. You can also have a parent or instructor teach you how cars work and perhaps most importantly what all the dials and gauges on your dashboard mean and how to read them. Knowing the basics will put you at the top of your driving game.
Adjust Your Seat
Get in the driver’s seat and see how it feels. It cannot be understated how important your comfort is while driving. Adjust your seat to the height and angle that allows you to see through your rearview and side-view mirrors and make sure you can reach the pedals and brakes with ease.
Keep Your Distance
We’re all becoming accustomed to giving people a wider berth with the new social distancing measures in place but giving people vehicular distance is just as important. Keeping a distance of at least one car length between your vehicle and the car in front of you prevents accidents. This amount of distance gives you time to react and slow down if the car in front suddenly slows or stops.
Driving’s Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is the way to go for safer driving. Maybe the driver ahead of you has suddenly changed lanes with no warning. Instead of becoming enraged, give him/her the benefit of the doubt. When aggravated, take a few deep and slow breaths. Your daily drive is a great time to practice patience and find your inner Zen. Mind your road manners, even when other drivers do not.
Focus on the Road
You’re driving and your dad or your boss phones you. You feel a rush of anxiety-like you must take his call, but the truth is your father won’t be amused nor your boss impressed if you take his call while driving. Keep your attention on the road when you are behind the wheel. Strap the seat belt, adjust the mirrors and be mindful of all traffic guidelines. Put your phone on flight mode and focus on the road. No call is more important than your safety.
Make car insurance your last worry. Just get it and keep it up to date so you can focus on everything else you have to do. Getting car insurance in the UAE is simple and easy. Just visit the website of a trusted insurance company, select a comprehensive plan that suits your budget, and buy it online to prevent any unnecessary loss or damage to your vehicle. With that done, you can enjoy your time on the road with confidence and peace of mind. Make sure to find one that offers 24 hours roadside assistance—you’ll be glad you did.
Don’t Slow Down
It may sound counterintuitive to speed up, but it’s essential not to slow down on UAE highways. Many new drivers become nervous and make the mistake of slowing down while changing lanes. While this may be the correct protocol in some countries, in the UAE it can cause accidents. So, maintain your speed while changing lanes as the other vehicles on the highway will be driving at high speeds.
Stay in Your Lane
When you’re new to driving or new to a city, it’s not uncommon to get lost or to suddenly realize that you’ve taken the wrong route. When this happens—because it will—stay calm and don’t swerve into other lanes. It’s helpful to plan your trip and leave enough time so if you lose your way, you have time to compose yourself and make it to your destination on time.
Cars Aren’t Toys
Though you may have the coolest and newest wheels on the block, it’s important to remember that driving is a responsibility. Your friends may be eager to pack into your car and hit the road, but it’s wise to resist that temptation until you have at least six months and remember that the safety of everyone in your is your responsibility.
Get in the driver’s seat! If you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy many miles of accident-free travel and make the most of the open road.
Watania, a national Takaful company in Abu Dhabi, offers Individual insurance policies that include Motor Insurance, Medical Insurance, and Home Insurance to cover you and your family for loss or damage to your personal acquisitions and property