The things your driving instructor didn’t tell you


Driving in the snow. Photo courtesy of Pexels

Charis Jones, Staff Reporter

Driver’s education teaches you the basics: parallel parking, backing around a corner and even placing your hands at ten and two on the steering wheel. However, I didn’t realize until I actually started driving that there was so much that simply did not get covered. 

While I could go on all day about the million rules of the road and tips that were left out during my one-month course, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind next time you get behind the wheel.

Everyone at one point in their lives has either encountered or has been what is known as a “queue-jumper.” This is when someone is driving down an empty lane knowing that it’s closed ahead and waiting until the last minute to squeeze in just before it ends. 

While this technique has been known to spark an uproar of road rage, it is actually the correct way to go about it. Merging too early causes traffic build-up by forming a lengthy line of slow-moving cars. Instead, you should make sure to use the road that’s available while you can as it actually speeds up traffic. Remember this on your next trip over the pass!

Now, this one may be an obvious one for some, but an important feature that no one ever told me is switching the mode of your rear-view mirror. 

I’ve been driving for six years now and I had absolutely no idea this was a thing until recently. The number of times that I’ve been tailed by someone at night who has forgotten their brights are on is ridiculous. It makes it even harder to see on already pitch-black roads. Little did I know that if you tilt the tab below your rear-view mirror, it helps reflect the high beams up away from your eyes. The way that the tab is usually set is for daytime, which is why the glare in the mirror becomes so prominent at night if not tilted over.

Finally, as weird as it may sound given our current weather, use your AC! Maybe not when you have an 8 a.m. class and it’s 30 degrees outside, but it is important to make sure to use this feature semi-regularly. Doing this will guarantee that the tubes stay moist and the coolant doesn’t seize. On mornings when you need to defrost your windshield, try using the dry, warm air from the AC as it will go a long way for your car’s health!