Being a comfortable and confident driver means you prioritize safety on the road. It’s not about being aggressive, overly defensive, driving slow or fast, or having a specific driving style.
If you want more comfortable driving, some of the guidance offered is posture-related. Others are safety-related. And certainly, a cautious mindset is important as well.
For those who want to feel more comfortable in their vehicles, there are several best practices that you can implement into your driving style. Here are a few essential tips on learning how to drive comfortably:
1. Sit Comfortably
Don’t slouch over the wheel or try to drive like Mr. Cool Guy. A lot of young drivers do this. A driver needs to be ready to react at any moment. They should be sitting comfortably, backside and back firmly in the seat and body fully supported.
When you are in the driver’s seat, you aren’t sitting in a lounge, stretching out on your couch, or hanging out with friends. You have to be engaged with what is happening on the road. Your body positioning can increase or decrease your reaction time depending on how you use it.
2. Use Your Taillights
Your taillights are a major safety component to your driving. Taillights show the rear edge of your vehicle. They allow other drivers to see the size and shape of your car, subsequently providing you with the same vision of those around you.
Even through inclement weather, such as heavy rain or snow, taillights allow you to see your surroundings clearly and brightly.
However, a lot of drivers take taillights for granted. Drivers don’t tend to inspect the condition of their lights frequently.
They only discover broken lights during nighttime, which will make driving very dangerous. Ensure your taillights are working through regular maintenance.
As difficult as it can be, you can’t drive comfortably when you’re angry or upset. No matter anything that’s going on on the road, do not become aggressive. You want to be as neutral as possible. If you have a proclivity to get angry while driving, it’s something to work on.
You don’t want to hold onto that rage with every drive you take. A simple drive from home to work should not feel aggressive. It won’t be very pleasant for your mental health if you are an angry driver. Learn to stay calm, composed, and keep a level head.
4. Adjust Your Mirrors
There is a lot of ways to customize your driving experience to make you more comfortable. Adjusting the mirrors is one of the easiest. Have all mirrors in their optimum place, side mirrors, and rearview mirrors.
Ensure you don’t have to turn the body too much and that you have maximum visibility. This will place less stress on you as you perform basic movements, such as changing lanes or pulling out of a parking spot.
5. Adjust Your Seat
Moving the seat ahead or backwards is also very important. If you don’t usually drive the vehicle you’re about to get behind, move your seat to a comfortable position where it’s not a struggle reaching the pedals. Your knees should be slightly bent, with all pedals available to you.
While doing this, steering wheels can also be adjusted up and down. This can help optimize the right angle for your body to sit in while driving takes place.
A vital part of driving comfortably is ensuring that you are seated in an optimal position. Adjust your seat until you feel relaxed with how you are sitting.
6. Learn How to Check Your Oil
Checking your oil is an important skill to have as a driver. It’ll give you further confidence on the road. Your vehicle’s engine is everything.
To check the oil, park your car on a level surface, wait for everything to cool down. Locate and pull the dipstick all the way up. Wipe it off with a rag or cloth.
Then, insert it all the way down and pull it out. You will be able to see if your oil levels are where they should be. If your engine needs more oil, top it off. If you suspect a leak, have your vehicle looked at.
7. Get Repairs Done
Every vehicle probably has at least one or two things wrong with it. Of course, certain things you can wait to repair but other things you can’t. Even if you’re just driving in town, you don’t want to be wondering when your engine is finally going to give out.
Other problems may include when your battery is going to go dead, or if you have to replenish your fluids constantly because of a leak.
If you suspect there’s a repair that’s needed, get it done. Don’t wait for problems to emerge. You’ll feel a lot better driving with a properly maintained car.
8. Keep Your Gas Above Half
You don’t know where you might end up when you actually ‘need’ gas and have to pay whatever the cost is. If you can, always keep the gas tank at least half-full.
Fill it when the gas prices are good for you and try to avoid going below that halfway point on the gauge.
It’ll also prevent you feeling any anxiety about running out of gas on long trips or wondering how you’re going to be able to afford a gas fill-up when you didn’t plan for it.
9. Prepare for Long Drives
For longer drives, there are a few things you will want to do to drive comfortably.
Take a break every 2-3 hours. Pull over, get out, stretch your legs and move a bit. Secondly, bring water with you and stay hydrated. Dehydration will lead to headaches and fatigue.
During long driving sessions, you’ll also want to ensure you have some snacks, travel accessories, and a way to charge your smartphone should the battery end up completely drained.
Just like you would with any short drive, being prepared and aware of your driving is how to stay comfortable no matter what happens.
10. Prepare for Long Drives
Protecting your car is crucial. It keeps it looking great and running smoothly, but it also extends its life by keeping ensuring dirt and dust don’t cause components to malfunction. A clean vehicle is also safer and more comfortable to drive.
Make sure the windshield is clear, and vacuum and disinfect the interior regularly. Finally, ensure that your floor mats and custom-fit car seat covers are properly installed.