By: Aleksandra Mircevska
Getting a driver’s license is a monumental part of anyone’s life no matter which age. The freedom of having the skill of driving and operating a car is one we do not often give ourselves credit for. I think back to how my grandmother went her whole life not knowing how to drive or needing a car to get around. Each year, the percent of new drivers increase; traffic, construction on expanding more streets and highways often may result in more accidents involved with cars, which only becomes more present in a driver’s day-to-day life.
With now going on seven years of being a driver, I have reflected and narrowed in on seven essential points I wish I knew before I started driving. These points have helped me overcome challenging situations when I am about to step into my car!
- ALWAYS Check the Outside of Your Car.
Often times when we are about to start driving, once the car is started, we aim to hear any unusual sounds that may be coming from the car’s engine or interior. We often wait to see lights flashing on our dashboard indicating that there is a problem or unusual smells that may be coming from the car itself. With all of those key points being important, it is necessary to be as aware of your cars surroundings BEFORE turning on the car and headed towards your destination. There has been a handful of instances where I am halfway to my destination and my tires are appearing to be low and my car is flashing that a flat tire is or about to occur- which leads me to another avoidable obstacle I could have been prepared for. It is important to know where your car’s last surrounding area was in case any damage has been done to its exterior or interior. That way, in case of emergency or a need to file a report, the more details known will only better your reported case.
- Don’t Wait to Fill Your Gas Tank
Let’s be honest, filling your gas tank is a chore. I used to wait until the times my dad was checking-up on my car to make sure no “new” bumps and scratches have been attributed while using it, all while I toss the keys at him and run in the other direction to avoid having to fill the car gas tank myself. Once I started living on my own, I realized that filling your gas tank before it nears the flashing “E” for empty on your dashboard, saves you time and unwanted stress. Finding time while you are already in the car to stop on your way home to the gas station or making a point to go before a busy week gives yourself one less thing to worry about. I am sure we would all prefer to watch Netflix in a Tesla while our car electrically charges, but in the meantime, find pleasures in making your life easier when doing things early!
- Prepare A Playlist You Want to Listen to BEFORE.
These days when it comes to music, my favorite way to jam out to my favorite songs is while I am driving. Creating and listening to a music playlist has truly become an art form for many. Especially for when driving long or even short distances, music may often be the only thing that will put us in a better mood. With that being said- when you are in the middle of driving and you want to hear a certain song, preparing playlist or even podcast before you hit the road will lower you risk of an accident waiting to happen. Not to forget that checking any device while driving, if not already on some type of hands-free car-holder, breaks many driving laws. Feel the mood you’re in, and shuffle your favorite tunes before your journey of driving down the coast or being stuck in rush hour traffic. It may save yours and others lives by not getting distracted on the road. Whether you are listening to the song Drivers License by Olivia Rodrigo or your favorite throwback song, always make sure to drive with ease!
- Keep a Mini-You Survival Kit in Your Car.
Most of us know how important is to keep a first-aid kit and or an emergency-car tool kit in our vehicles at all times, but have we ever thought about having a, what I like to call, a “mini-you” survival kit? Preparing a few items in your car that you know would be essential to YOUR everyday life will benefit in the long run when you are caught in moments of crunch-time. I know for myself, keeping items such as an extra jacket or cardigan, dry-individually wrapped snacks, travel size hygiene products, and even an extra blanket to use if I am feeling in the mood to sit and watch the sunset on my way home, help immensely with reducing driving stress. Having items which won’t take up too much space in your car may benefit when you’re in those times of need and use your vehicle as a mini home away from home.
- Going Above the Speed-Limit DOESN’T Get You There Quicker.
Take it from someone who was left-off with a warning for going a little too fast (aka ten miles above the speed limit) to tell you that speeding is not going to get you somewhere necessarily faster or “on-time,” and neither is it worth risking yours, or those you share the road with, life. We may not realize how fast we are going when in a rush to get somewhere or meet someone, but no one enjoys the feeling of seeing red and blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror and getting pulled over for speeding. Think about the times where you may have felt frustrated when a driver behind you was cutting you off on the road or tailgating your vehicle from behind, all due to them wanting to go faster than you. No one wants be in a situation that may result in making you even more late to a destination, or worse, an accident. Map out where the destination you are headed to is and use apps such as, “Waze” or “Google Maps” to give you predicted arrival times along with any warnings about the route, before headed toward your journeys end!
- Know Your Surroundings.
When driving around a place we have never, adjusting to your surroundings may take a while. I reflect back on to the first time I moved to smaller town from a big city and to my surprise, felt even more lost with all the small one-way streets and similar looking avenues. There I was, reassuring myself while driving that I won’t have to call my parents who are miles away to come save me. I slowly learned when I am not going to a specific destination, driving around my neighborhood and town gives me immense insight about all the hidden gems I was unaware exist. Becoming familiar with your surrounding’s while driving has brought me a great deal of confidence each time I get behind the wheel. It gives me a safe feeling knowing where I am, and if I were to make a wrong turn somewhere or someone were to ever ask me for directions, I won’t feel as panicked. Using a GPS device or map navigator on your phone is always helpful when going to a new place, but think about how people got around before technology guiding us. Don’t be afraid to safely explore the world that is out there!
- Having a Resqme For Your Car!
Sometimes, it is the smallest of things that can make an impact on your life. I have firsthand discovered this when being caught in life-altering moments while driving. Since I started working for the company resqme, I discovered how having an extra reassuring tool with me at all times during my drives, has made a world’s difference. Having a survival device as the resqme® car escape tool benefits myself and others when in a situation no one wishes to find themselves in. Unpredictable moments can be unavoidable with a tool as the resqme®. Having it be easily accessible in a moment of danger, can save countless seconds that could impact the outcome of an unpredictable situation. With this safety tool, you can cut through a car seat belt and break tempered glass windows in a vehicle to prevent car entrapment. If is often after a life-changing situation do we see ourselves taking action to avoid being in a dangerous one again. Reminding myself of the mottos: Safety First,” and “When Seconds Count,” before driving, which has made for life-changing impacts on myself and those I share the road with.
The resqme® comes in a variety of colors and having it in a vehicle or as key chain will only benefit the practice of safe driving and preparedness of an unavoidable situation. Invest in a resqme® and enjoy the ride that is life!