How to use the controls in your car

How to use the controls in your car

When you get behind the wheel of a car it is important to know how to use the various controls so that you will operate your car correctly and be safe on the road.  One thing that people do not think about is that they are driving a large vehicle that can cause a lot of damage if they do not drive it correctly.  There is a procedure that should be followed each time that you get into the cockpit of your vehicle.

First things first – when you get into your car slide your seat into a comfortable position that is the right distance from the pedals.  Adjust the height, angle and distance all at the same time, especially if someone else has driven your car since you drove it last.  The next thing that you need to do is adjust your mirrors.  The rear view mirror should give you a good view of what is behind you when you are driving.  The side mirrors need to be adjusted so that they eliminate, as much as possible, the blind spot that you have on the sides of your car.

When you get into your car one of the first things that you should do is put on your seatbelt.  If your steering wheel has tilt steering then adjust it that so that it is comfortable for you to use.  It is important to learn the right amount of pressure to use on the gas, clutch and brake pedals when you drive.  If your car is a standard it is going to have a clutch pedal.  In order to be able to drive you must have the clutch pressed all the way in and then you will need to choose the gear that you want.  As you press down on the gas pedal or accelerator, you need to ease off on the clutch at the same time.  This is a skill that many people must practice often to eliminate the “bunny hop” effect.  If you let the clutch off too quickly or without even pressure you can stall the car.

It is important to accelerate slowly and smoothly while letting out the clutch to eliminate jerky movements (bunny hopping) and it is equally important to brake slowly.  If you brake hard and suddenly (other than in an emergency situation), you may not give the driver behind you enough time to stop and this can cause an accident.  You must always check your mirrors as you pull out from a parking spot or when you plan to change lanes.  When you drive it means that you must constantly survey the area around you as you take off from your location.  It can take a lot of attention to drive, so it is important not to have extra distractions like phones and music to take your mind off of your driving.  Driving is a lifelong skill that you will need to use for decades into the future so it is important to learn it well in the beginning.

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Authored by: Pete Anderson

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