You were right about everything, mom.
My mom loves fast cars. Naturally, her favorite is a Maserati and she’s not too picky with the model, as long as she can drive it on a race track.
Her first car was a Ford Mustang, so when it was time for me to get a car, that’s what I got, too.
I couldn’t believe it. I’m grateful for sharing the same first car memory with my mom. Thankfully, mom also helped me learn to drive. Of course, she had the usual tips for first-time drivers, like don’t drink and drive, keep your eyes on the road, and stick to the speed limit.
After covering the basics, she threw in some safety, driving, and cleanliness tips, too. Her tips meant more to me than the general tips most people give when you first drive. Such as, we are both a not-that-tall at 5’2” so she advised adjusting my seat height. This has helped tremendously, so shout out to engineers for making our lives easier!
And I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m ready to celebrate that my mom’s been right about everything. (Thanks, ma!) Here are the things she taught me about safety and driving, tips that I’ll keep with me forever.
My Mom’s Best Car Safety Tips:
- Always have your keys ready when going to and from your car. This has helped me many times. It isn’t fun to think about it, but you just never know what’s going to happen. I’d rather be prepared to avoid distractions that could make me an easy target for a bad day.
- Check the backseat before entering the car. Surprise guests need not apply!
- Visually check the tires to verify that they’re safe since the last drive.
- Lock the door once you’re in the car, and put your handbag out of sight.
- Seatbelt on! Check the mirrors and make any needed last minute adjustments.
- Play your favorite songs, but don’t turn the music up so loud that you can’t hear other cars
My Mom’s Best Driving Tips:
- Have a change of shoes for driving. Mom always wears high heels exclusively, so she’d bring a few pairs along depending on the weather or comfort for driving. It’s safer to drive in shoes that let you feel the pedal and avoid slipping.
- When parking, go slow and align yourself to stop about the same place as a nearby car to avoid scraping the front end on the curb. I’m short, and after pulling up too far many times, I can now approximate when far enough is good enough.
- Plan your route so you know where you’re going and aren’t distracted by trying to get directions or figure out the best route while you’re going 50 MPH.
- Keep tabs on the cars around you. Knowing that the car behind you changed lanes and is now in your blind spot will keep you from hitting him when you decide to change lanes, too.
- Keep tabs on the cars two and three cars ahead of you on the road; only watching the car in front of you can lead you to rear-end the car ahead of you if it stops short.
Mom’s Best Car Care Tips
- Treat your car with respect, give it regular maintenance and it will be good to you, too. Sounds cheesy, but as an adult car owner, you can appreciate what a regular oil change and clean cabin filter can do for your car over time.
- No eating in the car, unless you throw out all garbage and clean up afterward.
- Clean out your trunk or cargo area regularly; things can accumulate back there compromising space for groceries and even costing you fuel economy from the extra weight!
- Fill up your tank regularly so you aren’t running on 1/4 tank. If you’re driving to and from work, daycare, the store, and other places, the last thing you need is to be on empty. Avoid “E,” especially when you really need to head out without extra stops along the way.
I hope when my kid drives that my tips will be helpful, too! And if we somehow opt into self-driving cars by that time, well, my kid can laugh at good old mom on Mother’s Day then. Happy Mother’s Day, be safe out there, kids!