Being on the driver’s seat for the first time is both a fun and terrifying experience. On one hand, you get to acquire a new skill that you’ve probably been dying to learn for the longest time but on the other, you’re responsible for the safety of the people coming along for the ride. Driving is more than going from one place to another. There’s a lot that you need to know, from road regulations to the different buttons and leavers of your car. You might feel overwhelmed by the wealth of available information but we suggest that you start with these six basic things.

  1. Adjusting the vehicle

Effective driving entails a certain level of comfort behind the wheels. Before you begin, adjust the seat to your height, making sure that your feet can reach the pedals and that you can see all your mirrors. The latter is especially important to learn. Avoid blind spots when you’re adjusting the mirrors. Blind spots are parts of the road that you’re unable to see so you may miss cars trying to overtake you from behind. Remember to be in your normal driving position when you do this. Also, being comfortable with the setup will help lessen the nerves that you might already be feeling.

  1. Multitasking

Driving involves a lot of multitasking. For a first time driver, the experience can be overwhelming. You have to remember a lot of regulations and vehicular controls. While it is important to turn on your signal lights every time you make a turn, your ability to concentrate and not get distracted is more important.

Learn to calm your nerves because driving is stressful. If you’re just starting out, it’s always best that you have an experienced driver seated beside you. Having a person you trust will make your first few attempts of driving a little less nerve-wracking. This may also not be the best time that you let your rowdy friends hop in since they can distract you when you need to concentrate.

  1. Knowing the destination

Most experienced drivers rarely feel nervous traversing roads to destinations they’re not familiar with. The same cannot be said for a first-time driver. When you’re still learning, it’s important that you visualize the route that you’re going to take towards your destination. This will help you prepare and anticipate the traffic situation, and for turns and bumps.

You don’t need to challenge yourself right away. Practice around your neighborhood or a route that you constantly take. It is recommended that you don’t drive on interstates and major highways until you are confident enough to do so. You will eventually have to drive on these roadways but for a first timer, it may not be the best time yet.

  1. Fixing a flat tire

Flat tires are an inevitable part of driving. Apart from learning how to maneuver a car, it’s also great if you carve out time to learn how to fix a flat tire. You never really know when this can happen to you so it’s best that you’re always prepared. Of course, don’t forget to bring a spare tire and the necessary tools.

The alternative is for you to call roadside assistance to come and help you out. Better if you do it yourself if you have no patience to wait. Remember to get out of the road or pull over to the side when you do. Be wary of other cars, you don’t want to cause unnecessary traffic especially if you’re in a busy thoroughfare.

  1. Parking

Equally as important as driving on the road is how to park your car. Not learning to properly do so can cause unnecessary stress to you and other people. When surrounded by other vehicles or near a wall, be extra careful so you don’t bump and scratch your car. Be guided by your windows and mirrors so take a look at them every time you can. Parking also involves utilizing a given space efficiently. If in a public area, this means that your car shouldn’t be intruding on the space of another vehicle or making sure that they have room to comfortably exit the lot.

  1. Getting an honest quote

If you personally own the car and it breaks down, it also may be your first time to visit a car mechanic. Like the actual driving, having a mechanic take a look at your car can also induce anxiety, but on the financial side this time. If you already have an idea what needs to be fixed or parts that need to be replaced, scour the web to estimate the cost or range of the repair. Or buy the parts yourself like these Ford Ranger fender flares. This is so you won’t get taken advantaged by a mechanic hoping to make extra bucks. You can also find a trusted auto shop through online review platforms if you don’t already have one.

It is understandable that you won’t remember all these things when you’re in the driver’s seat but like with every new skill, it takes some time to learn and master. These are just the basics that will help you get started. The rest is up to you to research and try on the road. Just remember that your safety and the safety of your passengers is hinged upon your ability to keep your focus and cool on the road.