5 Tips for New Drivers in British Columbia

Learning to drive is akin to a rite of passage. Everyone brings their own level of comfort and experience when they are learning to drive. Whether you are eager to learn or are still feeling hesitant to get behind the wheel, taking a few simple precautions will help you feel more comfortable and in control of your vehicle.

Useful Tips for New Drivers

Start driving with these simple tips and you will be able to master the roads in no time. If you are a new driver in British Columbia, here are some techniques to keep in mind while you are learning:

  1. Take Lessons: Learning to drive from a family member can be tough and stressful for both the instructor and the learner. Friends and family may not be trained in driving instruction and may miss some very important lessons. Taking lessons from a trained professional with years of driving experience and many helpful tips will make the process easier. You will feel a lot more confident behind the wheel. A GLP course in Vancouver or other driving lessons in Northern Vancouver and throughout BC can provide tips to help you become a safe and defensive driver.
  2. Choose Low-Traffic Areas: Start your driving practice in a neighbourhood that is not too busy. Most experienced drivers will tell you that the hardest challenge to deal with on the road is other drivers. Learning to drive in an area with less traffic will help you feel in control, eliminate pressure from other drivers, and give you time to feel comfortable before venturing onto busier roads.
  3. Drive during Off-Peak Hours: Avoid driving during rush hour and other peak traffic times. This will also limit the number of other vehicles on the road and give you more space and time as you learn to maneuver your vehicle.
  4. Do Not Drink Any Alcohol or Take Drugs: Driving may be commonplace, but it is important to remember that it is also a big responsibility. Not only is it illegal for new drivers to have any alcohol in their system, it also sets the tone for the rest of your driving career. Do not drink before driving and abstain from any other drug or substance abuse as well.
  5. Take it Easy: It may be tempting to rev your engine and drive fast, but you are better off starting slow. Speeding increases your risk for fender benders or more serious accidents because it reduces the level of control you have on the vehicle. Follow posted speed limits and take it slow, as you learn to operate the vehicle, check your mirrors, and obey traffic signs all at once.

New Driver? Take Driving Lessons from North Shore Driving School

North Shore Driving School offers driving lessons in Whistler, West Vancouver, Burnaby, and throughout British Columbia. We can guide you to safely and efficiently operate your vehicle, with GLP driving courses that will provide the training you need to obtain your license.

Learn more about our driving schools in the Greater Vancouver area. Call us today at 604-988-1138 or contact us online to inquire about our driving lessons.

Tips for Learning to Drive After Your Teenage Years

If you’re a non-driver but you’ve passed the legal driving age, you may feel embarrassed or out of place when people start discussing recent driving situations. Perhaps you’ve even concurred as they list their pet peeves about other drivers, pretending you understand from personal experience.

Not everyone learns to drive in their lifetime, but it is an important rite of passage for many Canadians. If you missed learning to drive as a teenager because of fear, limited access to a car, or lack of need, you’ve probably learned to get around in other ways.

But, sometimes life changes like relocation or a different marital status give you an impetus to add driving skills to your repertoire. Don’t fret! Your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond are a great time to learn to drive.

Why Learn to Drive Now?

Do you need a little more convincing before you agree to vacate the passenger seat? Here are four benefits you can gain by becoming a driver:

  1. Learn to love the convenience. Driving a personal vehicle is one of the world’s most popular transportation modes for a reason: it’s convenient. If you learn to drive and buy a car, you can go where you want, when you want. No more waiting for buses or taxis.
  2. Get to know your city better. Many non-drivers feel helpless when the driver asks for help with directions. If you’re accustomed to walking everywhere in your city, you’ll be surprised at the new perspective you gain when you navigate its streets behind the wheel.
  3. Conquer a fear. Many people avoid driving as long as possible because they know it can be dangerous. Lessons from a professional driving instructor will allow you to learn at your own pace and face your fears about driving.
  4. Gain a sense of accomplishment. If you have “learn to drive” on your bucket list, work on checking it off now. Many people who learn to drive after their teenage years count it as one of their biggest achievements.

How Can You Get Started?

Okay, so you’ve decided to take the leap and join the driving club! Now what? As a non-driver, you almost certainly don’t own a car. And you’d probably prefer not to strain any valued relationships by asking a friend or partner to teach you.

No problem. Follow these tricks to begin your journey on the road to a driver’s license:

Take solo lessons. As an adult learning to drive, you’ll have different levels of confidence and nerves than a teen driver. Instead of enrolling in a big class with other first-time drivers, meet one on one with a professional instructor. He or she can assess your current skill level. You may only need a few lessons before you’re ready for a solo drive.

Start small. Choose a practical, smaller-sized vehicle for your first driving experience. You can learn the basics better in a small sedan than a massive truck. Small cars have smaller blind spots and navigate easier. They also tend to have less power, which makes it easier for you or your instructor to catch mistakes and correct them.

Go slow. We don’t mean keep your car under 25 kph (although you should follow posted speed limits). This tip means that you should learn to drive at your own pace. Don’t try to fit every skill into one or two lessons, especially if you have major fears about driving. Take your time so you learn to drive safely under all conditions.

Acknowledge your emotions. Driving can bring out many emotions, from fear to excitement and even fun. And when you venture onto the road, the actions of other drivers inspire other emotions. When you start to experience road rage or driving anxiety, acknowledge it. Control your feelings as much as possible. If you feel your emotions getting out of hand, pull over when it’s safe and take a quick breather.

Ask your instructor for tips about special driving conditions. Most adults learning to drive need only a short time before becoming solo drivers. Therefore, they only experience a fraction of the numerous driving conditions. Take time with your driving instructor to discuss driving:

  • In harsh weather conditions (heavy rain, snow, strong winds)
  • During and after car problems (tire blowouts, accidents, etc.)

What Driving Skills Should You Focus On?

Finally you’re at your first lesson, and it’s almost time to start the car. As you begin life as a driver, you may feel like you’re doing a lot of multitasking. You have to control the gas and brake pedals, steer the wheel, check your mirrors, watch your gauges, and navigate through traffic.

You don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Try to focus on these important driving skills (that are sometimes harder to master or remember):

  • Changing lanes
  • Passing other cars
  • Applying the right amount of pressure to the pedals
  • Parking
  • Checking blind spots

After your first lesson, ask your instructor what your strengths and weaknesses as a driver are. During your next lesson, you can focus on those skills so you’ll have more confidence in them.

As you take these steps, you can become a self-assured driver. At North Shore Driving School. we are known as a quality driving school in Vancouver. We offer driving lessons out of our North Vancouver driving school. Contact North Shore Driving School today and get ready to hit the road.