If you know how to drive a car, it’s most likely that you’ve made at least a few mistakes when you’re about to start your engines and drive off. It’s perfectly normal since everyone commits mistakes. Let me share some startup mistakes that drivers do based from my experience as well as from those that I have observed.
Whenever I park my car, I usually put the transmission into 1st gear to complement the hand brakes. One of the most common car startup mistakes is when you turn the ignition on and you’re manual transmission car is not on neutral. What I usually do is I wiggle the shift stick a bit to make sure it’s on neutral. If not, the car will jerk and you’ll most likely fail to start the car. This is quite dangerous. If there’s a person in front of your vehicle, a mechanic or someone else, that sudden jerk can inflict injuries.
I’ve heard of a story from one of my friends about an accident related to starting up a car on first gear. It happened on a nearby auto shop, from her home, and the mechanic instructed the driver to start the car. The mechanic was in front of the vehicle and was in between the bumper and a cement wall. Unfortunately, the driver started the car while it was on first gear and the sudden movement of the car pinned the mechanic to the wall. I do not remember if the mechanic was fine after the incident. But again, this can happen from a simple mistake so be very careful.
We have to admit that we forget lots of things and sometimes, even the safety gadgets that we have on our cars. Don’t forget to remove wheel clamps, steering wheel guards, pedal locks and so on when you start your car. It can damage your car and the equipment itself or it could fly off and hit a person.
Always turn your headlights on at night before driving off. I’ve experienced this a few times myself as well as some other drivers. This is dangerous especially if you’re coming out of a parking area and into a busy street. Make sure all your lights are working before heading out. It might be too late before you realize they are not functioning.
Before you start your car, always remember to do a simple vehicular inspection. Check your wheels, your lights, oil, water, brake fluid, etc. Always review the lights on your dashboard before starting the engine. Check your car’s temperature, see if the oil light is lit or not, make sure you release the hand brake before switching the ignition and of course, make sure your you have enough fuel and that the entire dashboard is visible. One of its most important functions is to alert you if there’s something wrong. It’s not actually a mistake but people tend to forget to check these before driving off.
Make sure your doors are firmly closed. Just to be sure, open them then close them again if you’d like. Fasten your seatbelts and adjust your rear view and side view mirrors. If you have a baby in the car, make sure he or she is completely secured.
Well, you just have to be aware of the things that you need to do before you drive off. It’s perfectly understandable that you might miss some of the things that you need to do when you’re about to drive your car especially if you’re in a hurry. But whenever you are about to drive your car, set your mind to always do what you need to do. It will give you not only a comfortable drive, but most importantly, a safer one.