In the last article, Car Things You Should Know By Now PART 1, we focused on car maintenance and must-know fixes. For this blog, we're going to talk about more practical and applied skills you should know before you even start driving a car.
How to drive a manual car
It doesn't matter if your car is an automatic. Stuff happens sometimes. Imagine tagging along to a party of 5 and being the only one sober enough to drive by the end of the night. Everyone's counting on you to bring them home safely. You can either book accommodations for the whole gang for a night or just stick it out and drive standard transmission for a night.
What to put in your glove compartment
If all that's in your glove compartment are a pack of gums, some love gloves, and other odds and ends, then you're not using your space smartly. What should be in there are things that can actually help you in emergency situations like getting pulled over by the police or if you get into an accident. Make sure that your always have your registration, insurance information, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit in your glove compartment.
How to maintain traction during rain
If you think that driving is the same, no matter the weather then you probably shouldn't be driving yet. Any experienced driver would know that in the event of of inclement weather, a light foot on the pedal (automatic) or choosing higher gears (manual) is impertinent. Sudden acceleration can cause you to lose control and for someone on the road (you or anyone else) these things can mean life or death.
How to control a skid
Let's say it's raining and you tried your absolute to drive responsibly and minimize any slips by choosing higher gears or keeping a light foot. Unfortunately, it's raining so hard that your brake locks up and all of a sudden you're skidding uncontrollably. It happens, so what do you do? First, lift your foot off the accelerator and brake pedal. I know you want the skidding to stop but you need to let the wheels freely rotate to gain better control. Besides, if your wheels aren't gripping the road in the first place, brakes are a waste of time. Afterwards, steer gently to the direction you want to go. Forget about the pole you're trying to avoid, just focus on the road you want to go to. When your eyes are focused on this area, your hands (grippin the wheel) will follow. As you steer. and press gently down to slow the skid. If your front wheels are skidding, gently step on the brake. If your rear wheels are skidding, gently step on the accelerator. This is so you can redistribute the car's weight to all wheels and gain more traction.
How to parallel park
It may not make as much sense considering how easily accessible secure car parking spaces and wide metered parking areas there are around Australia, but you should still know how so here's a recap. Pull alongside the car in front of your chosen spot. Gently reverse and cut the steering wheel to to the right around halfway down the car on the other end. Keep reversing slowly and cut the wheel back to the left when you feel that you have enough room between the car ahead. Move in and adjust forward or back to give yourself ample spacing between both cars. Got it? Good job! Bet you haven't done that since Driver's Ed.
Getting a car is easy, you either have to save up enough to buy one brand new or pay it off little by little through car finance. The challenging and important part of owning a car is learning and applying the skills to own one responsibly. Before you even get behind the wheel, make sure you know all of these basic car things. It'll save you from a stop from the cops, a ton of headache, and maybe even a (yours or someone else's) life. Good luck!
This is part two of the article series "Car Things You Should Know By Now". Check out Car Things You Should Know By Now PART 1