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Learning how to drive is a lot easier than it looks. It looks intimidating from the passenger's seat, or in films, but once you get behind the wheel and gently put your foot on the pedal, the process becomes very intuitive. Learn to take things slow in the beginning and you'll be well on your way to mastering the basics. This article assumes you'll be driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission. If you're not driving an automatic, you'll need to read about the basics of driving stick-shift (manual transmission) instead, although the general process will still be similar.

Part 1
Part 1 of 4:
Getting Comfortable with the Car's Controls

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.[1]
    • 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.[2] 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 4:
Getting the Basics Down

  1. 1
    Put on your seatbelt. In most places in the world, driving without wearing a seatbelt is illegal.[3] Seatbelts greatly reduce the possibility of serious injury or death if you happen to be involved in an accident.
  2. 2
    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!
  3. 3
    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!
  4. 4
    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.
  5. 5
    When you're ready to move your car forwards, come to a complete stop and put the car into "Drive". Put your foot on the brake pedal, shift your car into Drive so that it can begin to move forward, and then take your foot off the brake pedal. Slowly press down on the acceleration pedal with your foot to get the car to move forwards. Accelerate until you've reached the speed limit, and then take your foot off the accelerator, hovering it over the brake pedal in case you need to slow down.
  6. 6
    Hold both hands on the steering wheel at the "9 and 3 o'clock" position. Imagine that the steering wheel is a clock. Place your left hand where the number 9 would be on a clock, and your right hand where the number 3 would be.[4] Especially for beginners, do not try to hold the steering wheel with only one hand, because it is you are more likely to lose control of the car, which could cause an accident.
  7. 7
    Use your blinkers (also called indicators or turn signals). Your blinkers are flashing orange or red lights (some cars have red lights as blinkers on either side of the rear of the car) next to the brake lights. They are really important when driving as they let other cars know that you're wanting to switch lanes or turn in a specific direction. The blinker switch is located on the left side of the steering wheel. Flick it up to indicate you want to turn right (for turning or switching lanes to the right), or flick it down to indicate you want to turn left (for turning or switching lanes to the left).
  8. 8
    Learn how to turn the car using the hand over hand method. Turning is quite easy once you get used to it. Like most things when driving, it's very intuitive. If you only need to turn the car slightly, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to travel but try keeping your hands at the 9 and 3 position.
    • If you're making a harder turn, use the "hand over hand" method. Say you're turning right. Turn the steering wheel clockwise, leading with the right hand. When your right hand gets to the 4 or 5 position, release it and cross it over your left hand. Re-grip the wheel and continue turning.
    • To straighten out the car after a turn, simply loosen your grip in both hands and the steering wheel will automatically begin correcting itself. Apply more pressure to slow down the correction; apply less pressure to speed it up. Your hands should stay stationary as the steering wheel moves back to its original spot.
  9. 9
    Learn how to switch lanes. At some point when driving, you'll need to switch from one lane to another, sometimes quickly. Doing so is easy, but you have to remember to indicate to let other drivers know that you're planning on switching lanes. Here are some things to keep in mind whilst switching lanes:
    • Indicate with your blinkers for at least two seconds before beginning to switch lanes. This lets other drivers know what you are planning to do.
    • Quickly scan your mirrors and look over your shoulder to check for any cars in your blind spot(s). Don't just rely on your mirrors to tell you where other cars are; use your eyes to quickly look for yourself before actually switching lanes.
    • Slowly move the car into the other lane. Turn your hands on the steering wheel ever so slightly in order to change lanes. It only takes a very slight movement of the wheel; as most modern cars are fitted with power steering. It should take anywhere from one to three seconds for you to change lanes. Any less and you're doing it too quickly; any more and you're doing it too slowly.
  10. 10
    Stay a healthy distance behind other cars, and avoid tailgating. How far you should stay behind the car in front of you depends on how fast you are traveling. You want to give yourself two to five seconds to react, depending on your comfort level. If the car in front of you were to abruptly come to a halt, at your current speed, would you have enough time to both react and calmly slow your car down without colliding into the car in front of you?
    • To judge this, watch as the car in front of you passes a fixed object on the road, like a billboard. As soon as the car passes that object, begin counting: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.... How many seconds does it take for your car to pass the same object on the road?
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Part 3
Part 3 of 4:
Putting It All Together

  1. 1
    Drive defensively. Driving defensively is a very important concept that too many drivers either take for granted or don't understand. Driving defensively will help save you money, ensure a pleasurable driving experience, and — most important —help you stay alive.[5] Driving defensively is an umbrella term for several different concepts:
    • Don't assume that other road users will obey the rules, or pay attention, or be cautious. Rules of the road are enforced to make sure that everyone is safe. Often those rules are broken by selfish or clueless drivers. Don't assume that drivers will use their blinkers before they turn, for example. Don't assume that drivers will slow down for you to merge. Don't assume that drivers won't drive past red lights.
    • If you see a potentially dangerous situation, avoid it before it happens. Don't linger immediately to the right of a big semi-truck, for example. Don't try to pass a drunk driver who's swerving in and out of lanes.
    • Use all your senses to be aware, at all times, of what's happening on the road. Drivers often learn to tune out the rest of the world and "get in the zone," simply because they've done the same thing hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Don't get too complacent behind the wheel. Use sight to monitor other cars' speeds and their habits. Use hearing to listen for car horns and the sounds of screeching. Use smell to be aware of burnt rubber or other caustic aromas that may indicate an accident.
  2. 2
    Stay in the right lanes for slower speeds and the left lanes for faster speeds. On highways, and to a lesser extent on streets, the leftmost lanes are usually reserved for faster traffic, while the rightmost lanes are reserved for slower traffic. It's rude (and dangerous) to tailgate someone going slower than you in the right lane. At the same time, it's selfish to hog the left lanes when you're going considerably slower than other traffic. Get in a lane that's going roughly your speed and stay there until you need to turn or leave the road.
  3. 3
    Whenever possible, pass cars on the left side instead of the right side. Because the general speed of traffic increases going right to left, it's important to pass on the left. You're speeding your car up and going faster than the car ahead of you, so you want to pass using a lane that's meant for faster cars. Follow this general rule of thumb even if it's not a "law" where you drive! Remember: drive right, pass left.[6]
    • Try to never pass a truck on the right. Trucks and semis are far larger than normal cars, meaning that their blind spots are far bigger. Trucks often stay in the rightmost lanes and switch lanes to the right, rarely switching lanes to the left. Passing trucks on the left, therefore, means you're driving your car out of their territory, lowering your risk.
  4. 4
    Abide by the speed limits. Speed limits are there for a reason. They're not there to make driving less fun; they're there to make the road a safer place for all. Make sure that at most, you're only traveling 5 mph (8 km/h) faster than the speed limit. At least in America, police officers will rarely write a ticket for speeding if you're only traveling 5 mph (8 km/h) above the speed limit.[7]
  5. 5
    Be extremely careful in abnormal driving conditions. When the weather acts up, tone it down a notch and drive even more defensively than normal. When it rains, for example, the water interacts with the oil on driving surfaces, making it very slick and slippery. In these conditions, it's hard for your tires to get good traction.[8] In heavy rain, when small pools of water have accumulated on asphalt, you're especially at risk of hydroplaning.
  6. 6
    Be courteous on the road. Being courteous simply means acknowledging that there are other people using the road, each with his or her own agenda, and many of whom don't want to be stuck in their car. Make their life on the road a little easier if it's easy for you; the thought is that they'll pay it forward at some point, and you may be the beneficiary of their largesse.
    • Use your horn to alert other drivers, not to chide them. The horn is a powerful device. Use your horn when someone merges into your lane without seeing you, or when a light has turned green but they're still sitting idle. Don't use your horn because you're stuck in a traffic jam to express your frustration.
    • Use a wave to thank someone. When someone lets you into their lane, wave your hand to thank them. It doesn't take much effort, and it's a nice acknowledgment of "thanks" for keeping you in mind.
    • Don't disobey the rules of the road just in order to be courteous. This is important. If you stop at a four-way stop and you get there first, you're the one who gets to go first. Don't stop and let the person who got there after you go. It holds up efficiency and often creates confusion.
  7. 7
    Have fun. Driving can be dangerous, and there sure are a lot of rules that you need to remember, but it's important to have fun while you're behind the wheel. Even while staying responsible, driving can be incredibly exhilarating. Just remember that the road doesn't belong to you alone and you should be fine.
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Part 4
Part 4 of 4:
Mastering Advanced Driving Techniques

  1. 1
    Learn how to parallel park. Parallel parking is when you have to back your car into a tight parking spot, usually a very complex maneuver. There are a couple of tried and true tricks to parallel parking, which you can learn here. A very important part of urban driving.
  2. 2
    Learn how to merge in heavy traffic. Merging onto a highway can be a difficult thing to do, especially if the traffic is denser than expected. The important thing to do here is to accelerate enough and judge whether you're going fast enough to fit safely between two cars.
  3. 3
    Use a roundabout. They may not be popular in America, but if you've ever driven outside the U.S., you'll know that they can be quite tricky. Often used instead of stop signs, roundabouts are efficient but need to be understood before conquered.
  4. 4
    Learn how to drive uphill. Driving uphill can be a challenge, particularly if you're driving a manual car. Master the art of downshifting when going up a steep hill.
  5. 5
    Save gas. With the rising cost of fuel, driving smart means more than just avoiding accidents. Those drivers who can save fuel while they drive ultimately have more money to spend on car accessories.
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Community Q&A
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  • Question
    How can I learn to drive fast?
    Simon Miyerov
    Driving Instructor
    Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment.
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    Expert Answer

    Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer.

    If you're referring to how long it takes, I wouldn't recommend trying to speed this process up. You have to complete driving classes, practice with an instructor, and get familiar with how the vehicle works. Driving is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, so don't rush your education here.
  • Question
    Is driving a car scary?
    Simon Miyerov
    Driving Instructor
    Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment.
    Driving Instructor
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    It can be if you've never done it before! It really isn't too nerve-racking once you've worked with an instructor and figured the basics out. It's okay to be nervous. Just take it slow!
  • Question
    How can I be safe on the road?
    Simon Miyerov
    Driving Instructor
    Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment.
    Driving Instructor
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    Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer.

    Drive defensively, take it slow, and keep your eyes on the road. Also, comply with speed limits! They're there for a reason; it's dangerous to drive over the posted limit.
  • Question
    How hard must I press on the brake to stop the car?
    Community Answer
    You need to press down hard but gradually so you don't stop too suddenly. Make sure that the person behind you has enough time to realize you're stopping, or they might rear end you.
  • Question
    How do I overcome my fear of driving?
    Community Answer
    Have someone drive you to a safe open area free of pedestrians and other cars. Hop in the car and just drive. You'll get a feel of the wheel after you practice a bit in an open space.
  • Question
    Is it more difficult to drive a manual transmission or automatic transmission?
    Community Answer
    Manual transmission requires the use of three pedals and timing for the clutch to engage gears. Therefore, a manual transmission is more complex and more difficult to drive than a car with an automatic transmission.
  • Question
    How do I drive downhill?
    Community Answer
    You have to release the acceleration pedal and concentrate more on the brake pedal to help regulate your speed.
  • Question
    How do I drive in traffic?
    Community Answer
    Keep an eye on your speed. If traffic is very slow (to a point where you must stop the car), make sure you have a good amount of space in front of your car. (Tip: When slowing down and coming to a stop, look at the car in front for yours back tire and stop when you see the bottom of their tires meet your car's hood.)
  • Question
    What can I do if I'm driving down a hill and my brakes fail?
    Community Answer
    Concentrate on steering and pump the brakes. If that fails, use your hand brake/emergency brake.
  • Question
    How many pedals are in an automatic car?
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    There are 2 pedals: the gas pedal which moves the car, and the brake that slows or stops the car.
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      • When driving bigger cars, make sure you are clear of the road ahead before overtaking.
      • Wear your seat belt. This is the easiest way to be safe in a car, and it's illegal in many countries not to wear one.
      • Be sure to slow down before making turns.
      • When you're starting out, driving a car can be scary at times, but with practice and other techniques, you can overcome a fear of driving.
      • When you park your car and before you exit the vehicle, be sure to turn off the lights, engage the handbrake, lock the doors, and remember where you parked.
      • Don't drive faster than what you're comfortable with.
      • If you are a new driver, always ride with an experienced driver until you are confident enough to drive independently.
      • Put away all distracting items (such as cell phones, earphones, snacks, etc.) before you even turn the engine on.
      • Always follow safe driving practices. Don't drive recklessly fast, accelerate suddenly or brake unexpectedly. And, don't weave in between vehicles on the highway - it is very dangerous, and can cause highly damaging collisions.
      • Service your car within the mileage or age ranges recommended by your manufacturer or dealer.
      • Hire a certified, experienced driving instructor if you're nervous and/or inexperienced.
      • Stay in your own comfort zone. If it has been snowing and the roads are covered in ice, drive as slow as you need to in the highest possible gear (if driving a manual), to improve control of the vehicle, and ignore other motorists who get impatient and start tooting their horns.
      • Don't wear bulky shoes with big soles, they might get in the way when pressing the brakes during an emergency.
      • Keep enough room between your car and the vehicle in front so there is enough room to come to a full stop should the car in front decide to stop suddenly. Tailgating is dangerous.
      • If you are making an emergency stop in a car equipped with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), press the brake as hard as you can. ABS makes a car's brake pump more rapidly than your foot can. This stops the car while still offering you control over the direction. Do not "pump" the brake nor loosen the force. While ABS is active, you may feel vibrations through the brake pedal - this is normal. Just continue pressing the brake until your car stops.
      • Maintain your car regularly. Check the oil level, wheel alignment, headlights, brake fluid and tire pressure. If something looks damaged, worn or needs fixing; then get it sorted before it leads to a more serious problem.
      • Study the driving guide from your state.
      • If you are just learning to drive, or if you don't feel confident driving by yourself, it might be a good idea to get a parent or an older friend who can accompany you when you're driving.
      • Stay safe, and don't use your mobile phone whilst driving. In some countries, this is illegal and you can even lose your license, as well as be fined a lot of money. The penalty is 6 points on your license and a £200 fine in the UK, meaning if you passed your driving test less than 2 years ago; you'll be banned from driving.
      • Install a dashcam in your car if you don't have one, your insurance company will thank you and you will have footage of anything that happens while your driving, video evidence is crucial in accident investigations, even if you were not involved, additionally watching and sharing footage of your driving can help make you a better driver.
      • Practice good habits (e.g. turning your head to check your blind spot) instead of bad ones (e.g. driving with one hand on the steering wheel, crossing your hands when steering).


      • Always enforce that people who are passengers in your car must wear seatbelts. If they refuse, don't drive them. You're better off creating an awkward situation than to be held liable for a bodily injury they sustain if you're in an accident.
      • Always follow the rules of the road for your state or country. Make sure you know all the rules before starting to drive, or else you or your car might be badly damaged.
      • This article can only guide you on your way to driving so don't depend on it as your only source.
      • While changing lanes, be observant. Check all mirrors, put on your indicator and swiftly change.
      • Always indicate before turning, and use dipped headlights when there is an approaching vehicle or when there is a vehicle ahead of you.
      • This is by no means a replacement to going to driver's ed.
      • Always wear your seat belt and ensure any other passengers do so.
      • Be aware of any limitations of provisional licenses, for example in the UK; you cannot drive on a motorway without a full license.
      • Avoid parking illegally, your car may be towed, or you may be cited and have to pay a fine.
      • In some cities, shifting late (just before red-lining) not only makes you sound like a maniac, it can also be considered "reckless driving", which is illegal and can get you a nasty ticket/fine.
      • Avoid the temptation to use your mobile phone, a few seconds distraction can cause a serious accident, so the best way to do it is to turn off your cell phone until you get to your destination. Better yet, park your car in a safe location when there is a need to answer a phone call.
      • Make sure you're in the correct lane when driving.
      • Street racing is extremely dangerous, and illegal in most countries. If you wish to race your car, then taking your car to a track day would be the safest thing to do. These are usually well supervised.
      • Keep on the slow lane (left or right for left- or right-handed driving countries respectively), unless you overtake. After overtaking, return to the slow lane.
      • This article is aimed at American readers. Road rules are different in every country.
      • Make sure you practice uphill starts when learning to drive a manual car. Because starting a manual from a stop requires letting off the brakes and engaging the clutch (essentially placing the car in neutral), the car will roll backward until first gear is engaged. To stop this from happening, apply the handbrake, then release it as you release the clutch and the car begins to move forward. Otherwise, you risk rolling into the car behind you. Practice this technique on a sloped driveway or car park where it's safer to make mistakes.
      • In Israel, you're required to carry fluorescent vests in the car and wear them when you are outside the car when making repairs or refueling etc. If you get stopped in Israel and your car does not carry a fluorescent vest, you WILL be fined. In France, you must wear one when driving at night, and also if you need to repair a puncture/bulb on a motorway.
      • Some vehicles come with built-in safety features (besides airbags). Do not rely on safety and comfort features to work while driving. This technology can easily malfunction (i.e. the brakes may apply unexpectedly or the car does not brake at all), and is not a replacement for attentive driving.
      • NEVER drink and drive. That's the worst thing you could possibly do. You could kill yourself or someone else. It is also illegal to drive with more than a certain amount of alcohol in your body e.g. in the UK you must not drive with a breath alcohol level of more than 35 micrograms per 100 milliliters (3.4  fl oz) or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters (3.4  fl oz). This is roughly the equivalent to 2 cans of strong lager. In the US you may not have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of more than 0.08% if you are a non-commercial driver 21 and up. Restrictions are tighter on commercial drivers and drivers under 21. If you are going to drink this much alcohol, arrange another means of transport.
      • Drivers need to be licensed. Driving without a license or with a suspended one can get you arrested and will ruin your record.
      • Never shift into low gears at high speeds (i.e. 1st gear at 50 mph/80 km/h). This will greatly damage or destroy your car's engine and transmission and can even cause you to lose control.
      • ALWAYS wear your seatbelt. Seatbelts reduce risk of injury and death by a wide margin, and in many US states, you can be fined for not wearing a seatbelt.

      About This Article

      Co-authored by:
      Driving Instructor
      This article was co-authored by Simon Miyerov. Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment. This article has been viewed 5,160,922 times.
      353 votes - 91%
      Co-authors: 303
      Updated: May 27, 2022
      Views: 5,160,922
      Article SummaryX

      To drive an automatic car, first put on your seatbelt and adjust all of the mirrors so you can see out of them. Make adjustments to your seat so you’re comfortable and can easily reach the pedals. Then, press down on the brake pedal with your right foot so the car doesn’t move when you start it. Next, turn the car on by putting the keys in the ignition and turning them clockwise. Hold the steering wheel with your hands at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. If you need to reverse out of a parking spot, move the gear stick from “park” to “reverse,” and look over your shoulder so you can see what’s behind you. You should always look over your shoulder and check your mirrors whenever you're reversing or changing lanes. Gently remove your foot from the brake pedal so the car starts moving, but don’t press on the gas pedal. When you’re in reverse, you’ll need to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction you want to go. If you need to turn left, turn the steering wheel to the right, and vice versa. Once you’ve backed out of the spot, press your foot down on the brake pedal, and move the gear stick from “reverse” to “drive.” To drive forward, take your foot off the brake pedal and slowly press down on the gas pedal. The harder you press down on the gas pedal, the faster you’ll go. Keep both of your hands on the steering wheel as you’re driving, and turn it in the direction you want to go. If you need to make a sharp turn, like turning at an intersection, cross your hands over each other as you turn the wheel. Then, when you’re ready to straighten out again, loosen your grip on the wheel so it turns back to the starting position. Remember to turn the car’s blinker on to alert other drivers whenever you’re making a turn or shifting lanes. To come to a stop, take your foot off the gas pedal and slowly press on the brake pedal. When you’re ready to park, move the gear stick from “drive” to “park,” then turn the car off by turning the keys in the ignition. To learn more about how to adjust how you drive to the road conditions, keep reading below!

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