Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


5 Things Beginner Drives Should Know - Vol.25

Even if you have already obtained your graduated driver's license through an accredited GDL course, you should know a few more things when you actually start out driving.

Practice makes perfect

What you learned in your Graduated Driver Licensing course is the theoretical aspect of driving; perhaps you learned about the different kinds of cars and how to operate each one, you were also probably taught about the legal rules of the road as well as some basic safety rules.

Just like everything else in life, knowledge doesn't end with study. Your graduated driver's license is a certification that you have been taught everything you need to know to drive a car, but it will need quite a lot more actual practice for you to actually be a professional.

Take every opportunity to get the hang of driving. Initially you should have yourself accompanied by an experienced driver when you drive around.

Later on, you can do the driving for your family members. Drive at a speed that you know you can manage. The facility for driving at high speed is learned through experience. You should get experience driving through all kinds of terrain and all kinds of weather.

Look before you leap

Even before you get into your car, you should examine it inside and out. Be sure it is road-worthy. Always put on your safety belt and require everyone else to do so. This means that you shouldn't have more people in the car than the number of belts you have. It is not just the car which should be 100 percent ready but you yourself. Finish up your hair, makeup and any phone calls you need to make before pressing on the gas. Driving deserves your complete attention, for everyone's safety.

Stay awake and alert while behind the wheel

When you start driving, you should be alert and constantly so. Update yourself every second on the conditions of the traffic, the road, the weather, the other vehicles and the pedestrians. This applies to vehicles and people in front of you that as well as those behind you. Drive defensively (avoidance rather than encounter) all the time whether with regards to the traffic lights, other vehicles or people.

If you are driving at night through long distances, be sure to have someone with you to keep you awake. Listening the loud and lively music might help. Don't get into the driver's seat if you are sleepy. If you become sleepy in the middle of the trip and there is no one with you, stop in at a wayside café and grab a cup of black coffee…or check into a motel and sleep. Be sure to inform the people who are expecting you.
Lots of people figured in major accidents because they fell asleep on the wheels.

Be always ready for surprises

Never take for granted that you know the road or the terrain, even if you are familiar with it. Each time you drive should be a new experience. Always negotiate steep curves carefully no matter how many times you have gone through there. Be prepared for sudden moves other vehicles and people may make. In this regard, you will have to develop the ability of seeing through the corner of your eye.

Also, if you are driving through uncertain areas, keep all your doors locked. In this regard it is useful to have a car with an automatic lock mechanism which can be triggered from the driver's seat.

Observe traffic rules

Naturally, you have to know and follow the rules of traffic. The most important rules you should remember are not to drive when you have drunk hard drinks, never have drunken persons or persons high on drugs with you in the car.

If you don't have signal lights, get some installed. Be sure your signal lights can be detected even during the day. Otherwise, you need to warn people that you are turning left or right with your hands.

Those are the most important things to remember when your are beginning to drive.