Things You May Not Learn in Driver's Education
- When you are at a red light and turning right (when allowed), you are usually told to just look left to see if any cars are coming. Don’t forget to look straight ahead since the cars in front of you may have a right-of-way green arrow.
- I got in a close call because I did not look straight ahead first as a new driver. I "shared" a lane since the other driver avoided me.
- In a round-a-bout, you have to stop at the entrance into the circle and yield to the other cars and never trust other car’s turn signals in a round-a-bout or in any other situation. Look at the driver to see where they are looking.
- Always try to guess what the drivers are going to do next by reading “car language”. This gets better with experience. If you see a car veer a little to the left or right of their lane, they might be thinking about changing lanes or is looking in that direction. If you see the driver looking over their shoulder, they might be thinking of changing lanes.
- This has saved me on many occasions.
- At stop signs, look at the driver, not the front of the car. The driver determines where and when the car moves not the car. If you wave a car to go through and the other driver waves back, then you should go. Avoid starting a waving contest back and forth. There is such thing as being too nice. :-)
- I got in a waving content since I was too nice at first and not assertive enough.
- Never forget that when a light turns green don’t assume all the cars have stopped for you. Look before going when the light turns green for you.
- I had a few close calls thanks to people running red lights, but since I checked before going I saw the SUV not slowing down.
- Remember that for left turns you have to yield to the incoming cars unless you have a green arrow pointing left. Try not to jump in front of them unless you can do so safely.
- Where I live, people love to cut you off turning left at a particular intersection even though you have the right-of-way turning right on a green light.
- When someone is tailgating you in the left lane and you are about to reach a gap in the right lane, turn on your right turn signal before reaching the gap since the person behind might try to pass you quickly on the right if you don’t. If the tailgater is a really bad driver, they will try to pass you regardless of whether you use your turn signal or not. Watch out for that.
- Since I know drivers will still text and drive even when not told not to, I will not say not to do it. Instead, at least make sure you are at red light or that no one is around you and you can see far down the road, otherwise install an app on your phone to automatically text people when you are driving. I use Auto SMS on Android.
- I suggest for you to take an emergency maneuvers school to learn what to do when your car goes out of control. For ages, 15-21 try http://www.streetsurvival.org/. For adults, look at your local car racing track’s website and see if they have programs for adults. My local New Jersey Motorsports track does.