We begin this year with an important article on 5 things beginner drivers should know. Driving in Nigeria is fast becoming a child’s play because more often than not, a boy of 14 may have been watching his father drive the family and decides to try it when no one is around, other times parents encourage their children or servants to run errands with the car when it is clear they have not gone to a driving school, and immediately they hit the tarmac they become too dreadful.
Driving in some parts of Nigeria like Lagos and Abuja is not that easy judging from how busy these cities are, both in terms of population. However, just the same way you cannot teach someone how to swim by a mere swimming book pamphlet, teaching someone how to drive should be more practical than throwing a bunch of key to a kid to drive the family around. Driving for the first time after graduating from driving school? Here are 5 things you should know.
Practice Makes Perfect
What you learned in your driving school is not really the practical aspect of driving; perhaps you learned about the different kinds of cars and how to operate each one, and you were allowed to drive around some areas with the big L dangling on that plate number, 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 a study. The driving school you graduated 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 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, 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 to see 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. All Innoson cars have this feature.
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. Know when to move and when to match your brakes. Remember the people you left at home are eager to see you return unhurt.