I’m sure you remember those moments when you were finally ‘legally’ allowed to watch R-rated movies at the cinema or old enough to buy a pack of cigarettes at the mamak store. As you hit the ‘almost-adulthood’ age of 17, your ultimate goal would be getting a driving license as it is one step closer for you to being independent.
However, a driving school can only teach you the basics of driving, and how to pass your driving test. There is much, much more that’s not being taught, but it is as important as learning how to drive as well. So here are some things that you most likely won’t learn at a driving school but really should know if you have a hope in hell of surviving out there.
1. Don’t multi-task
Unless you were born with superpowers, humans can easily be distracted by text messages, eating, listening to musics, phone calls and even chatting. It doesn’t matter if you’re super good at multi-tasking, doing these things while driving could actually expose you unnecessary risk. Remember “good drivers just drive.”
2. Being courteous to other motorists
Don’t you just hate it when you give way to others and they don’t bother to wave back at you to say’ thank you’, or even use a gesture to apologize if they made an error? They might not teach you all this stuff at driving school, but come-on guys, being courteous is something that you should have developed when growing up and it only takes a second to raise your hand and wave a ‘thanks’.
3. Do not hog the overtaking lane
On a freeway, the third lane on the right is called the overtaking/passing lane. For no apparent reason, a lot of drivers enjoy hogging the overtaking lane and refuse to let other vehicles merge ahead of them. Seriously guys and gals, the freeway is not your grandfathers road! Refusing to budge to allow another vehicle onto the freeway is not only a stupid act, but it has the potential to cause a pretty severe accident especially if someone starts to tailgate you. Also keep in mind that some drivers are probably late for a date or even ‘bursting’ to get to the nearest rest stop.
4. Avoid tailgating
Driving bumper-to-bumper won’t help you get to where you need to be any sooner, especially if you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Sure, some of you may feel that you have better driving skills than others, but unless you have the ability to control and defy physics, your driving skills just aren’t up to the task of eliminating gridlock. Besides, the highway is not an F1 track so if you’re feeling like taking a punch on that throttle, go do it somewhere else that’s safer, like a racetrack, because on a track, tailgating / slip-streaming is actually encouraged. Also, on a track you don’t look like a dick when you tailgate.
5. How to use a signal
If and when you are intending to turn, or change lanes or direction, there’s a stick located either on your right or left side of the steering wheel to tell other motorists where you’re going. It sounds like magic, but hey, this stuff actually works! Give it try on your way home today, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
6. Don’t double park whilst running to the grocery store
No one thinks your car is special enough to be allowed to double park. Not only do you make other people wait, you are also building up traffic from behind. Imagine if you are in their shoes, you’d be annoyed too, so stop being selfish people!
7. Turn that high-beam and rear fog-light off
It’s fine to turn on your high-beams when driving on unlit roads, however, if there’s an oncoming car, or if you are driving on well-lit roads, turn those high beams off because it is very dangerous! Blinding oncoming traffic can cause other drivers to temporarily lose control of their vehicle and have them collide head-on with you. Running your high beams while behind another vehicle will also have a similar effect, only this time the car ahead will crash and you may end up rear-ending them. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone involved especially you.
Modern day cars are also equipped with rear fog-lights, indicated by an amber light in the instrument cluster when activated. These are only to be used in foggy conditions (or in our case really, really heavy thunderstorms when visibility is very bad) so that those behind can see your car through the fog, hence the name. For goodness sake, don’t use them when conditions are ideal, because they really are blinding to the driver behind you.
8. Follow road signs
Road signs and street lines are present for a reason, it’s not part of some road decoration to make the streets looks beautiful. I’m pretty sure you’d recall taking the online multiple choice tests in driving school, but chances are, you’ve probably forgotten all about it already. When driving, stay between the lines and don’t forget to follow those road signs because it could save you from getting a parking tickets and er, even snatch thief!
9. When to slow down
I don’t need to state the obvious, but you should always follow the speed limits especially when entering a housing area, driving past schools and shopping malls but nobody told you that you should also slow down at the scene of an accident. If you are not a victim of a collision, then drive at a decent speed instead of pausing or stopping to see what happened on the other side of the road because believe it or not, by slowing down to rubber-neck, you are actually building up traffic behind you.
10. Don’t wait until the last minute to exit from the lane
The world has two kinds of drivers; those who get over into a lane to exit / merge early, and those that zoom by until the last moment then cut in, queue jumping in a sense. The war between these two types of drivers is part of what builds up traffic. Nobody likes queue jumpers and there’s a good reason why you should not wait for the last minute to exit a highway. The video below should explain why…
Well there you have it folks, our list of things they haven’t taught you in driving school but should have! Do you have more that you’d like to add? Share them with us in the comments section below. Till then, drive safe!