Everybody would love being driven around in a motor vehicle, leave alone owning one. Much as we all do love these wonderful machines, the majority of us simply take them for granted.
We do not bother to understand them well, only a handful of vehicle drivers or owners take serious care to understand these devices.
The best way to enjoy your vehicle is to get to know it before you drive it. There are many types of vehicles available today with many different characteristics, like location of the steering, type of fuel consumed, engine capacity, anti-lock brakes, 4-wheel drive, country of manufacture, systems for traction control, stability control, extras, etc.
Different vehicles are suited for different geographical territories, terrain, climate, social status, applicability, etc.
All vehicles come with a multitude of controls; controls located in different positions from each other, e.g. one car, the wipers’ switch could be in the same place as indicator switch on another.
Make sure you read the vehicle owner’s manual before venturing on the road. For driving in difficult situations and conditions see the section on dealing with particular situations.
Make sure you know where all the controls and instruments are located; some may be on the dashboard whereas some could be on doors, the steering wheel or even the roof of the vehicle. Look out for special features and what they do, e.g. cruise control, and never take an option for granted.
Your life and those of other road users greatly depend on the safe usage of the road by all of us. Check that all warning lights and gauges work.
Before driving, make sure that, all warning light and dials are working normally, those that stay on after you drive away may need urgent attention; this could be an indication of a serious problem with your vehicle.
Get to know the controls well enough to turn on wipers and washers, headlights, high beams, heater and defroster without having to look. Learning to use these essential controls without taking your eyes off the road is an important part of driving.
Imagine you are driving at night and you need to turn on any of the controls, would you have to turn off the driveway or turn on the interior lights? I suppose not, you should be able to use any of the controls in your vehicle with minimum effort.
It is said that driving an art, a tacit one for that.
You don’t start driving from nowhere, once you have learnt how to drive; you must also make an effort to learn by heart all the controls of your vehicle.