I was so excited when I turned 16 to finally get my drivers license. The one problem I faced was no adult was ever willing to teach me. Once my friend took up the task and I finally got the hang of controlling a giant metal machine I felt confident enough to take my drivers test. Of course I passed, but looking back I’ve realized that there are so many things I’d wish I’d known when I was learning how to drive.
These are just four of the things I wish someone had told me when I was first getting behind the wheel.
1. Car Accidents are SO scary
I know this might be obvious, maybe I was just blind because I had never been in an accident until I started to drive, but car accidents are seriously so scary.
Not only are they annoying because they end up costing you a lot of money, which we’ll talk about later, but the sound of a car hitting another car is a noise that I probably will never get out of my head. It’s such a loud, piercing sound that honestly gives me anxiety just thinking about it. That’s because after you hear the loud crash you are immediately faced with the realization that that actually just happened. Then, when you try to think about what just happened a lot of the time you can’t remember. It’s not that you completely lost your memory, but the shock from a car accident truly makes you forget what happened right before.
Whether you’re at fault or you’re hit by someone else, a car accident is the worst thing to experience as a driver and you should know that they really are serious that serious and they can be life changing and obviously life threatening. There’s no real way to prevent them, but staying aware and driving at the appropriate speed is the best way to avoid hearing that loud sound of metal hitting metal.
2. Car Accidents Cost You A LOT of Money
Now that you know how scary car accidents can be, it’s time to help you realize that they can also be very expensive.
If an accident is your fault there are several things you have to worry about..
- If you’re going to get a ticket
- If your car is damaged/totaled
- If the other person’s car is damaged/totaled
- If you’re injured
- And if the other person you hit is injured
This list isn’t in any specific order because each of these worries can cost you a lot of money. One thing you should know is it’s important to have insurance, I recommend having full coverage insurance so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket, but if you can’t afford it having some type of coverage is better than none. An insurance company will pay off things like your cars damage, the other person’s car damage, your medical bills, and the other person’s medical bills.
But, there are two things that you’re going to have to handle yourself..
- Your car insurance going up
- And paying off your ticket and getting rid of the points on your license
All in all, the cost of getting in an accident is never worth it because it only leads to you spending more money in the long run on something you could have avoided if you were driving carefully in the first place. Recognizing the bad aspects of an accident, in my opinion, is the first step to avoiding them. The second step of course is being a safe driver.
3. You Are Going to Make Mistakes
One thing that’s hard to comprehend when you’re first learning how to drive is that you are going to make mistakes. It’s easy to become disappointed when you aren’t driving up to your passengers standards, but it’s completely normal for a first time driver to mess up every once in awhile. I’m not saying careless mistakes while driving are ok, but it’s totally normal to use the wrong blinker or ask for reassurance from your passenger when you’re switching lanes when you’re first getting behind the wheel.
Just remember that as long as you are learning from your mistakes and you aren’t repeating them, you are becoming better. There’s no such thing as a perfect driver because there’s no such things as a perfect person, so don’t put that pressure on yourself as a new driver. It’ll only lower your confidence and you won’t see any improvement in your driving because you don’t believe in yourself.
I know that you WILL get better with time and lots of practice!
4. Confidence is Key
Like I said before, one mistake new drivers make is not believing in themselves. Having confidence while you’re driving is so important. Just like with anything else, realizing that you are just learning and you are going to improve is vital to becoming a better driver.
I know it can be hard when the person next to you is frustrated with your mistakes, but don’t let their frustration get to you. They only want you to get better and if they are truly dedicated to making you a better driver, they’ll continue to work with you and push you to keep practicing. My friend who taught me how to drive would just laugh at me when I made a mistake, but I never felt like she was giving up on me which gave me the confidence to not give up on myself.
I hope wherever you find that confidence at you keep it and continue to practice for your big test that will give you the ultimate freedom, the ability to drive on your own.
The most important thing to know about learning how to drive is that you are putting not only your life, but also the life of others in your own hands. Stay aware and drive safe, the destinations are endless.