Get to Know a New Vehicle before Driving

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Rules of the Road: Driving Tips

If you’re getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that’s unfamiliar to you, whether that’s a new car or you’re simply driving someone else’s car, you need to take a few moments to make sure you know where everything is and how it works. The worst thing you can do is jump in, start it up, get on the road and then realize at some point that you don’t know how to turn on the windshield wipers or the headlights.

When this happens, not only will you not be able to remedy the situation that required the wipers or lights in the first place, but you’ll be distracted by trying to figure it out and a distracted driver isn’t a safe one. Sure, the basic operation of a car remains fairly consistent from model to model but it’s these little things that vary and are often confusing.

You don’t want that confusion to occur at an inopportune time so to avoid this, you should take a few minutes before even starting the car to look around and locate things like the heat or air, cruise control, and defrost in addition to the aforementioned windshield wipers and headlights. This should be on top of the checking of mirror positioning you should already be doing. If you discover that there’s something you don’t know or can’t figure out, then you should consult the owners manual or the owner themselves. This ensures that you don’t find yourself on the road without the ability to utilize any of these features.

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