Intoxicated Driver – How to Drive

Guide to Drive

Note: Credit goes to Replica

Getting Comfortable with the Car’s Controls

Number 1

Adjust the seat so that your feet comfortably reach both pedals. You can adjust your seat forward and backward, as well as up and down. Some cars will have electronic controls (usually on the left side of the seat), while older cars will usually have a lever underneath the seat that lets you control the position of the seat. But you can usually tell the difference.

Number 2

Familiarize yourself with the foot pedals. In an automatic car, the two-foot pedals control acceleration and braking, respectively. The rightmost pedal (which is usually smaller than the other pedal) is the accelerator, and pressing down on it makes the car move; the harder you press down on it, the faster the car will move. The pedal to the left, which is usually larger than the accelerator; is the brake pedal, and pressing down on it slows the car down.

Even if you feel more confident using your left foot, always use your right foot to reach both pedals. It will feel strange at first if you’re left-footed, but getting used to it is very important because it’s proper technique and ultimately much safer.

Never use both feet at once to reach the pedals. Only use one foot — your right foot — to use each pedal. This will make it impossible to accidentally press down on both pedals at the same time, which can be dangerous and can damage your car.

Number 3

Adjust your car’s mirrors so that you can see through them clearly and effectively. Your car should have three mirrors: one rear-view mirror, which allows you to see directly the rear windshield behind you, and two outside mirrors which let you see to either side of the car and protect you from blind spots.

Your rear-view mirror should be positioned so that when you’re in your normal driving position, you can see directly behind you and as much of the rear windshield as possible.

The Society of Automotive Engineers has one recommendation for how to position your outside mirrors in order to eliminate blind spots. It recommends positioning the mirrors further outward than normal, so that they just overlap with the viewing angle of the rear-view mirror.[3] Although disorienting at first, this positioning actually allows the driver to see cars in their blind spots which they might otherwise only be able to spot by looking over their shoulder.

Number 4

Know where the parking brake (also called a handbrake, e-brake or emergency brake) is and what it does.

The parking brake is a longer lever with a button on the very tip of it. When the parking brake is pulled up, it helps lock the car into place on the ground, ensuring that it doesn’t move. When the brake is let down, it is disengaged and the car can freely move. Make sure that your parking brake is disengaged before you start driving.

Number 5

Get a feel for the gear stick (also called shift lever, gear lever, shifter or simply, “the stick”). The gear stick is usually positioned in between the two front seats of a car, and it controls the gearbox (park, neutral, drive, reverse). Sometimes in certain vehicles, the shift lever is on the right side of the steering wheel.

  • If your gear stick is engaged in Park and you turn your ignition on, the car won’t move forward no matter how hard you press down on the accelerator.
  • If your gear stick is in Neutral , your car’s natural momentum will continue to move it forward.
  • If your gear stick is in Reverse , your car will move backward instead of forward when you take your foot off the brake.
  • If your gear stick is in Drive , your car will move forwards when you take your foot off the brake.
  • In most modern vehicles, the lever is either in a straight line on the right side of the driver or is a lever on the steering wheel. The “lever” may actually be a knob depending on your car. If you’re stuck, read the owners manual when you have the time.

Number 6

Understand the basic dashboard controls/symbols. These gauges display to the driver how much fuel the engine has left, how fast the car is going, how hot the engine is, and how many RPM (revolutions per minute) the engine is clocking.

The speedometer is probably the most important dashboard display in the car. It tells you how fast your car is traveling, in either miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kph).

The RPM gauge tells you how hard your engine is working. Most RPM gauges will have red areas starting at 6,000 or 7,000 RPM. When the dial in the gauge, travels into the red, learn to ease off the acceleration.

The fuel gauge tells you how much fuel your car has left. It usually has a dial, like the hand of a clock that travels between “F” and “E,” with “E” signaling “empty” and “F” signaling “full.” Some more modern cars have digital fuel gauges; where electronic bars are displayed like the battery symbol on a mobile phone, and gradually decrease in quantity depending on how much fuel is in the car.

The temperature gauge in the car tells you whether your car’s engine is overheating. It usually has a dial that travels between “H” and “C,” signaling “hot” and “cold.” Your dial should normally be in the center of the gauge.

Getting the Basics Down

Put on your seatbelt. In most places in the world, driving without wearing a seatbelt is illegal. Seatbelts greatly reduce the possibility of serious injury or death if you happen to be involved in an accident.

Always start your car with your foot on the brake. When you turn it on, the car will move forward by itself if your foot isn’t on the brake. With your foot on the brake in starting position, you’re ready to start driving!

Turn on the engine and release the parking brake, if necessary. Put your keys in the ignition, which is usually to the right side of the steering wheel, and turn clockwise. Note that in some newer vehicles, provided the keys are actually inside the car, all you need to do is push the “Power” or “Ignition” button for the engine to start. Fancy!

Learn how to back your car out. If your car is parked in a car park or a driveway, chances are you’re going to need to reverse your car out in order to begin driving. Although it may seem intimidating, there are only a couple of things for you to remember:

  • Put your car in Reverse and double-check. If your car isn’t in Reverse, your car won’t go backwards.
  • Look over your shoulder and turn your head to get a good view of where you’re going.
  • Gently remove your foot from the brake pedal and do not put your foot on the accelerator. For your first couple of times backing out, don’t worry about putting your foot on the accelerator. You can move your car simply by removing your foot from the brake. Your car will move slowly, but you won’t risk accidentally running into something or someone.
  • Remember that the steering wheel is “reversed” in Reverse. When driving your car forward, if you turn the steering wheel to the right, your car will also turn to the right, and vice versa. This is because your wheels turn that way. When going in reverse, turning the steering wheel to the right will make your car turn to the left, while turning the steering wheel to the left will make your car turn to the right. Keep this in mind as you back your car out.
  • Use your brake whenever you need to slow down. Press your foot down gently but firmly on the brake pedal to slow the car down if necessary.

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