New Driver Advice?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Xander562, May 19, 2007.

  1. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #1
    Hey, so I'm 17 and my parents finally agreed to let me get my learner's permit. Finally! :) :cool: Do you guys have any advice to give to a new driver / person who's learning how to drive?
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Congratulations, and good luck!

    My only piece of advice is learn to push a stick from the beginning. Automatic transmissions are for wusses. :D
     
  3. pianoman181 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    Here's a good piece of advice.

    Don't get an accident. and Don't get a speeding ticket.



    Beyond that, be careful... always pay attention... Be constantly looking around you seeing what's going on and where you can move your car to in an instant should you need to get out of the way of something. I turned 18 last december, so I've been driving for just over two years now (got my permit on my birthday), with my own car for about one and a half. Ticket and accident free. I've had a many a close call though, and it was just by always being very observative I was able to see something coming and get the hell out of the way in a safe manner (read: a drunk driver on the wrong side of the road! whoa! scary.) I pay for my own insurance and if you get a ticket, forget it! As if the insurance isn't absurdly expensive enough, just wait for that first ticket to come around. Good luck!
     
  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #4
    -Go to a shopping centre on a Sunday, or whenever it's not busy to practice parking and to learn where the car is on the road.
    -Try to drive manual as much as possible, but if you have to drive an Auto, i find using left foot for brake and right for accelerator works better than right for both.
    -Clock up at least 100 hours of driving before you go for your driving test. I've found that I've improved in the last 20 hours of driving.
    -A driving instructor is good for the first few hours of driving, but drive your parents around after that.
    -Treat others as you want to be treated on the road.
    -When shifting lanes, always do a headcheck; mirrors have blind spots.

    I've done about 90 hours in the last year, and i'll be going for my P plates in October. I want to get a manual licence, but both my parent's cars are autos :(

    Just enjoy driving. It's a big responsibility, but it can also be a lot of fun :D
     
  5. wildthing1994 macrumors member

    wildthing1994

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    #5
    Learn how to drive on snow and ice. Not sure if it snows in your area, but if it does, on the first day of freezing rain or snow take the car to your school parking lot at night make sure no other cars are in the parking lot. Do donuts, practice stoping on the snow and learn to driff the car, around corners, (its like learning how to skate with four tires). Do this because for one; its really fun and two; the one day when you hit that patch of ice going around a corner and a kid runs out in front of you, and the car isn't stoping and drift around the kid and around another car and avoid a really bad accident you'll be happy you knew what to do.

    P.S. Some people may consider this stupid and ill advisable, I don't want to hear it.

    PSS never mind your in Cali. ya don't drive in Canada in the winter time.
     
  6. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #6
    Just be careful, always pay attention, and don't let yourself get distracted by stupid things like a phone, rowdy friends, or booze. Uh... yeah, that's about it. Congrats.

    Oh, and don't honk at, swerve at, or yell at bikers. Because my u-lock is always handy.
     
  7. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #7
    I would love to, (I also think automatic is for wusses and being able to drive a stick would be awesomely cool :cool:) but sadly both my parents cars AND my grandparent's car are automatic. Same with everyone I know. :p Must be a southern california thing. I don't know.

    Really? Thats weird, I always learned that you use one foot for both pedals, they're even shifted to the right here in america. (I have no idea if its different in australia or not. ) Why do you find this is better?
     
  8. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #8
    Livingfortoday:

    Off topic but --- OMGZ HOLY #*@&!! You've changed your avatar! - It's going to take me FOREVER to get used to it.
     
  9. comictimes macrumors 6502a

    comictimes

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    #9
    get good driving music... I had to drive back home after we visited my grandmother's today, 5 hour drive... I kept almost falling asleep until we got some good music going.

    Also, while those last 20 hours WILL improve your driving, the license test in California is absurdly easy- I missed like 2 points out of 7 or something after only a couple months of actual driving (I got my permit after I turned 18).

    Finally if there are any hilly areas around you or roads with tons of turns (I don't know Long Beach City), definitely spend some time practicing on them. My best experience was definitely gained by driving through the Oakland hills.
     
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #10
    Ah, I'll probably go back. I feel... uncomfortable with a different avatar, to be honest. Chaotica just feels so right.
     
  11. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #11
    Have any to suggest?

    Nope, Long Beach is in the LA basin, so it's pretty much flatsville, USA. Nothing but a big huge grid.
     
  12. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #12
    in Aussie, the wheel is on the left, and the pedals go (from left to right) clutch, brake, accelerator. I find it gives me more control, and i can do smaller adjustments faster. Apart from anything, my left foot gets bored on long trips :p

    It's just a personal thing. Some people tell me not to do it, but they only notice when i tell them. Everyone i've had in the car has said i'm a great driver, so i'm not gonna change if theres no change needed :)

    Give it a try, but if it's too weird, just stick with the one-foot wonder
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    1 foot for gas and brake IMO is a lot better. I've tried one for each, and it's just awkward
     
  14. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #14
    driving manual transmission in the united states is not a necessity, as most of the cars out here are automatic. it's good to learn for just-in-case emergencies, but you're probably fine sticking to automatic. as for the one foot per pedal thing, i completely disagree. it causes jerky driving, and it would take too much time to get used to. it isn't safer by any means, and the only reason to do this is if you needed to brake and gas at the same time (which you shouldn't). the only thing your left foot should be doing is working the clutch. if you're driving automatic, it shouldn't be doing anything at all.

    my advice for a new driver? take it slow. don't listen to music right away; your focus should be completely on the road as you're starting out. with all the bad drivers in southern california and the too-many drivers in general, your attention shouldn't be distracted by music. also, never assume you have the right of way. there will be times when you think it's yours (and it probably will be), but never force it as it encourages bad driving habits, lack of courtesy and potential accidents. good luck and be safe.
     
  15. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #15
    Well it doesn't mean jerky driving at all and for a new driver it doesn't take any longer to learn because they aren't used to anything, i left foot brake sometimes and I'm in a manual. Brake + accelerating at the same time is something I do reasonably regularly, obviously not a learner technique though. Manuals are so much better than automatics, so much more control over the car.

    Keep a look out for bikes
     
  16. MalcolmJID macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #16
    I agree with the music side of things......don't have music while your learning to drive. Concentrate on everything that should be doing.

    Here in the UK, I had my driving lessons with an instructor, and we never had the radio on. I never had any lessons with my parents (mainly 'coz we never sorted out any insurance till I passed, and my dad is an impatient psycho sometimes!).

    Once I passed, the first time I drove my car was from my dads house to my mum's house, and my dad was in the car with me. I had the radio on very quiet then. I was getting used to my car (was the first time I'd driven my own car).

    Then after that, I drove myself to Wigan town centre (as my band was playing a gig) and I turned the radio up, and went a picked a mate up on the way. Was great.



    On a side note: My first car was crap. But I miss that haggard piece of shit!
     
  17. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #17
    Just pay attention and don't do anything stupid.

    Its soooo strange the first time you drive by yourself. The first time I did was in our Grand Cherokee. I got to the bottom of my road and was like "weirrrdddd". Pretty much your entire life you have been a passenger or you've been driving with a parent/guardian/instructor.

    If you live in a snowy area I would practice driving in the snow by doing donuts and hard turns in a coldesac. If you don't live in a snowy place, you should try it out the first time you have to drive in the snow. It can be very slippery even if it doesn't look to ominous. Although SUV's have 4wd (I can't believe i am saying this :p ) they weigh a lot more so they are going to be harder to stop, throw a little snow on the road and you can have a 5 ton machine totally out of control.

    I really hate teens that drive like a-holes. I am 16 but somehow I don't have to peel out at every stop sign or go 100mph down the highway zigging and zagging. I mean you'll probably do it once or twice just to get it out of your system, but I know plenty of people that have destroyed their cars/gotten caught. I'll admit, I've peeled out once intentionally, and I did go 105mph in my moms Touareg in the the middle of nowhere (no cars, people, some cows though).

    Good luck- are you getting a car?
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #18
    The penetration rate of automatic transmissions is about the same in the US as the penetration rate of Windows... ~95%. Doesn't mean you want to use Windows, either! :eek: ;)

    Anyway, it's certainly not a must-have. But it transforms driving into a much more live experience, with a much bigger sense of symbiosis, particularly in smaller cars with tight chassis and good steering. :)
     
  19. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #19
    Be careful and congrats. Remember not to drink/smoke/have sex and drive...



    Bless
     
  20. Shaun.P macrumors 68000

    Shaun.P

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    #20

    Don't get stressed out by other drivers. For example, if you're taking a long time to do something (park for example) try to not feel under pressure and rushed. Always take your time. And if you're going to speed, try and not go any more than 5-10mph about the speed limit.

    Oh one more thing - reds the new green :).
     
  21. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #21
    Honestly, I would love to have a manual transmission car. Simply put automatics tend to be retarded at times.
     
  22. shecky Guest

    shecky

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    #22
    you are absolutely right.
     
  23. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #23
    Well.... My brother is in his sophomore year in college, (This september he'll be a Junior) and my parents are JUST starting to think about buying him his car. They say the whole, "We'll buy you one when you NEED it." Which I guess obviously means Junior year in college. :( :mad: And they don't want me to go buy a cheapo piece of junk either. Although there is one possibility on the horizon, if my grandparents decide to get a new car, I might get their old Dodge Intrepid.


    Looks like this except less purple and more gold.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. FrankBlack macrumors 6502

    FrankBlack

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    #24
    Do not give in to peer pressure to engage in something idiotic. At your age, this will probably be the most difficult thing to overcome.

    Leave the cell phone turned off. If it's important, they can leave a message. You can check messages and return calls when you're not driving.

    Stick shifts are more fun to drive, and offer more control. They are also more mechanically efficient. However, most americans like convenience, and thus prefer automatics. Learn to drive manual, you won't regret it.

    I took my road test before most members of this forum were born. At that time, in MA, you had to take your road test on a manual shift. If you took the test on an automatic, your license would have a restriction on it. This changed at some point, and taking the road test on an automatic will no longer get you that restriction.

    License examiners at that time would also flunk anyone who braked with their left foot on a road test. As far as I'm aware, that has not changed.
     
  25. Xander562 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #25
    Does that mean better fuel economy / more MPG?
     

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