Top tips for new drivers in Canada
You've studied for the written exam and practised for the road test, and you're now officially a licensed driver. Congratulations on reaching this exciting milestone!
Whether you're a newly minted young driver or you've immigrated to Canada and just passed the test for a Canadian driver's licence, there are many scenarios you likely haven't experienced yet. Check out these tips before you hit the road:
- Enrol in a refresher course if you never went to driving school. Driving school isn't just for people trying to get their licence. Even after you receive your licence, you can sign up for a reputable course to help you brush up on some vital skills. It may even qualify you for a discount on your car insurance.
- Check your seat position and mirrors before you start driving. First, check if your seat is in a comfortable position for you to grip the wheel and press the pedals. Also, make sure the backrest is at the right angle — you don't want to be leaning back too far or so upright that your neck and back are strained. Now, check your sightlines: Your rear-view mirror should show your back window, and your side mirrors should give you a clear view of the sides of your vehicle.
- Double-check that your licence, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance are in the vehicle. In case of emergencies, breakdowns, or an accident, you should always have your licence, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance on hand. Keep your registration and pink slip in your car's glove compartment for safekeeping, and always bring your driver's licence with you when you're behind the wheel.
- Eliminate all distractions. Before heading out, make sure your phone is silenced and put away, you're comfortable with all your car's settings and well versed on its functions, and your radio isn't too loud to prevent unnecessary driving distractions that can take your focus and eyes off the road.
- Drive in familiar areas to gain more confidence. Even if your licence allows you to drive on major highways, start by driving on quiet, local streets. This will help build up your confidence on the road, away from the stress of high-speed, multilane roadways. As you become more confident behind the wheel, you can expand your driving to new areas and more complex roads.
- Avoid driving when the roads are slick. Driving in rainy or wintry conditions can be difficult. If you've never learned to drive on wet or icy roads, avoid going out on lengthy car rides in these conditions. Learn how to properly turn, speed up, and brake in a parking lot or quiet residential road during the winter before venturing onto busier streets to gain more confidence in your driving skills during inclement weather.
Taking the time to prepare and practise your skills can keep you, your passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers as safe as possible on the road.
As a new driver, you likely have questions about what kind of car insurance you'll need. Whether you plan to drive your family's car or are saving up to buy a new or used car, reach out to your group's licensed insurance broker for more advice on everything you need to know about car insurance.
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