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5 Tips For Those Learning to Drive

Learning to drive is something of a rite of passage for young adults, especially if they grew up in a place that isn't exactly on friendly terms with public transportation. Driving represents freedom, and the ability to make your own decisions. However, learning the necessary skills you're going to need for the rest of your life can seem like a big challenge. As such, here are some handy tips.

Tip #1: Learn With The Radio On

There's an unfortunate trend among drivers to learn under perfect conditions, and then once they have their licenses to throw all those rules out the window. However, if you learn to drive specifically to pass a test, then you'll find you won't be up to the task when it comes to driving in the real world.

The perfect example is the radio. If you're going to listen to it once you have your license, then it's a good idea to get used to it being on. Otherwise, you might pass the test, but you won't really learn the driving skills you're going to need.

Tip #2: Keep Calm, and Drive On

Something happens to your brain when you get behind the wheel. For whatever reason, being at the controls of a multi-ton machine of steel and fire tends to lead to a lot of tension, and a short supply of patience. Even if you're used to driving, sometimes all it takes to make you see red is for someone else to merge a little too close to your front end. If you're just learning to drive, though, that sort of move can make your blood pressure spike, and dump a full load of adrenaline into your veins.

That's why you need to be able to keep a cool head, and relax. Driving really is a routine skill, even though it doesn't feel like it when you're mastering the art. So, bring some breathing techniques, get in the right head space, and if you're getting stressed out, there's nothing wrong with pulling over for a while. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Tip #3: Think About Your Shoes

Once you've got driving down to a science, you can wear whatever you want. If you're just learning, though, it's a good idea to wear shoes with a thin sole in order to feel the pedals with relative ease. This will help you get a feel for how much gas (or how much brake) you're giving it, and that will key you in to your vehicle's sensitivities. After you've mastered driving is when you can get away with boots and high heels.

Tip #4: Know How You Learn

Different people learn in different ways; that's true in the classroom, and it's true on the road. If you're the kind of student who can read a book, and then be able to apply that knowledge to a practical situation, that's fine. If you need to watch a video, or witness someone else doing something in order to understand the process, that's also an option. Some people just won't understand how to do something until they get hands-on experience, and if you're one of those people there's nothing wrong with that. But if you try to use a method that doesn't work for you, then you're going to run into problems.

Tip #5: You Don't Need To Do It All At Once

There's an urge to go from 0-60 when it comes to driving, but it's probably a better idea to learn in sections. Basic driving, then driving in heavier traffic, driving at night, and finally, driving on the interstate. Just like you can't walk into the gym and immediately become a powerhouse weightlifter, so, too, you can't just get behind the wheel and become proficient at something you're just learning. Give it time, and the skill will come.

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