Most of the time, you don’t need a car- busses are generally available in most places, and it is actually possible even in some rural areas to get by with only occasional use of taxis or delivery services. But sometimes, even if you are a minimalist, you might still occasionally need to rent or borrow someone else’s car- for example, when the assignments of the bus schedule are inconvenient or impractical. So if you ever need to rent or borrow a car, and want to be prepared and use that car as efficiently as possible even though you’re a minimalist; here’s how to drive.
Hire A Driving Instructor
You might think that driving is pretty straightforward, and therefore, it is possible to teach yourself how to drive. And in the abstract, you would be right, but in practice, when driving an actual car, there are all sorts of complications like other drivers on the road which make self-teaching difficult. So even if you’re a minimalist, it is probably still best to hire a driving instructor from your local driving school. You can find an Approved Driving Instructor in these driving schools by asking around at your local mechanics. Or you can just look up one online.
You should practice driving every day at least once. It’s important to get your muscles used to the act of driving so that you don’t cramp up. For example, here is how to practice parallel parking:
First, check to make sure there are no cars coming up behind you by pulling out of your parking space and looking back. If the road is clear, then drive forward slowly for about fifty meters, and then turn your car around by putting it into reverse and backing up so that you’re facing the direction you just came from.
To back up, put your car in reverse and press the gas pedal slowly. You should be able to hear when your tires are touching your parking space behind you- that is the sound of when you’ve backed up far enough. If you overshoot, just keep backing up until you do so.
To park, first turn your car so that it’s exactly in the center of the parking space. Then back up straight in a line towards where you want to park- not at an angle. Do this until your front windshield is precisely next to the backseat window of your parked car (this is how you can be sure you’re perfectly lined up with your parking space). Put on your parking brake.
Then make sure you’ve put the car in neutral, and turn off the engine.
Learn Road Signs
Road signs are useful because they tell you what to do. They also come in handy for sorting out situations where you’re not sure if you should turn or keep going straight, or for when other drivers on the road give you conflicting directions. Here are some important road signs that every decent driver should know:
This one means “Slow down and stop your car completely at this intersection.” You should never just slow down at a stop sign- that’s confusing. When you see this sign, use your foot to actually break until you’re stopped. Then put on your parking brake, look around carefully for anyone about to drive in front of or behind you before moving again.
Yield Sign (with a red triangle in it)
This one means “Stop and yield your right of way to the person who is about to drive or walk in front of you.” It’s exactly like the regular yield sign, except more serious because someone might get injured if they don’t stop.
End Intersection Sign
This one means “The intersection is ending, so yield your right of way to any people who are coming in from the road that you’re currently driving on.” If someone’s already driving in front of you, then you should always let them go at intersections with this sign.
This sign means “There’s a crosswalk here, so remember that pedestrians might be trying to cross.” When you see this sign, slow down and look around carefully for anyone about to drive in front of or behind you before moving again. Then when it is safe, turn on your turn signal to tell other drivers that you’re about to stop.
No U-Turns Sign
This sign means “No u-turns allowed on this road, so don’t even try it.” When you see this sign, just look around for a different road that lets you do what you want. They’re generally pretty easy to find if you just look around a bit.
Driving is a valuable skill that is often taken for granted. By hiring a driving instructor, practicing daily, and studying road signs, there’s no reason why you can’t learn to do it. If you want to learn, the most important thing to remember is to be safe on your journey.