Are you a new driver excited about getting behind the wheel and opening a whole new chapter of your life? Getting your license and being able to drive gives you a whole new level of freedom and ease. If you are getting behind the wheel, these are the six things you should have.
1. A License
Here’s to hoping that you don’t plan to ever get behind a wheel without your driver’s license. Of course, your driving lessons are the exception. When driving, you should always have your driver’s license on you. In the case of an accident, an emergency, or if you are pulled over by the police, your license can help you out of many sticky situations. Having it on hand is so important in order to quickly and easily verify your identity.
Are you an insured driver? Yes, we know insurance is expensive, especially as (you are) a new driver but, it is illegal to drive without the appropriate insurance. This may seem like a hassle, however, without insurance, you place yourself and others at risk. Driving is inherently risky and therefore, insurance is required should anything go wrong. There are different types of car insurance, and should the court find you legally responsible for an accident, a Personal Liability and Property Damage (PLPD) will cover your case, as this insurance pays for medical bills if you are at fault and another driver is injured. It is not always the case that you will be in an accident that is the fault of someone else so you also need to be prepared for situations where you could be at fault.
3. A Safe Vehicle
Is your vehicle safe to drive on the road? Have you had your car recently checked? You should carry out regular checks on your car to prevent breakdowns or a larger issue cropping up. Check your oil level and make sure it is between the minimum and maximum mark. If it needs to be topped up, do it. Ensure as well that you check what kind of oil it needs, as using the wrong oil could lead to disaster.
Check both your tires and wiper blades regularly. You should check for types for wear and tear and see if any splits have occurred. Another super important part you should check is the tread depth. Check to see what the tread depth should be. During the winter, tread depth increases as this helps with grip. Your tires should also have the right pressure.
Ensure your lights are all functioning properly. If they are not, you can easily put yourself and others at risk. Your water levels should also be topped up, especially before a long journey, because this will help with visibility so you can clean off any dirt from your windscreen.
This may seem extremely simple and basic, however, it can be so easy to set off on a long trip without checking the tank. Running out of fuel is easier than you might think, especially in bad weather conditions. Ensure you check your tank before setting off and if you do need to fill up, make that your priority before you carry on with your day.
5. A Focused Mind
It’s not just your car that needs fuel to run well. Your brain and body also need fuel. Driving on an empty stomach or not eating well can affect your focus and concentration on the road. A key to staying safe whilst driving is being focused and staying alert. If you are sleepy, hungry, or even irritated, it’s very hard to stay alert, and that is why you should drive when you are in a good mental state. It is better for you and others if you wait to cool down, eat, or take a quick nap before driving.
Never get behind a wheel when you have been drinking. No matter how little alcohol you have consumed, it can still have an effect on your cognitive skills. Being even a little less alert and reactive than usual can mean the difference between someone living or dying. You should only ever drive when you are sober. It is even advised to avoid driving when you have a hangover, as the alcohol is very likely still in your bloodstream.
You should have all six things before getting behind the wheel. Driving can be risky so you need to ensure you are a safe and alert driver in order to protect yourself, your loved ones, and others. Besides, being sensible and taking into account any potential risks is a sign of a great driver!