How to Drive an Automatic Car safely

How to Drive an Automatic Car safety

Although learning to drive an automatic isn't as complicated as learning to drive amanual transmission car, it still offers plenty of challenge. By learning as much as possible about the process involved in driving, and the possible pitfalls you may encounter, you'll become a safer, more successful driver. The following handy printable instructions will help make the learning process a bit easier.

Before You Start Driving

Before you start the car, it's a good idea to get familiar with the equipment and controls. This will help you feel confident when it's time to get on the road.

Gas and Brake Pedals

In an automatic car, there are only two pedals. The pedal on the right is the gas, and the wider one on the left is the brake. Press on them a bit with your right foot to get an idea for how they feel.

Steering Column and Controls

Now look at your hands. The steering wheel is obviously right in front of you, but take a second to find the turn signal and the windshield wipers. They are often on the right of the steering wheel, but depending on the make of your car, they might be on the left.

Gear Shifter

In an automatic car, the gear shifter can be located on the floor between the seats or on the steering column. Either way, you will likely see several letters and numbers running down the side of the shifter. The one on the top is labeled 'P' for park. If the car is off, this is where the shifter will be. The next one down is 'R' for reverse, followed by 'N' for neutral and 'D' for drive. Depending on the car, there may be a few numbers (1, 2, and maybe 3) below the 'D'. These are there so you can manually put the car in a lower gear if you need to. 'P,' 'D,' and 'R' will suffice for nearly all of your driving needs.

How to Drive an Automatic Transmission

Now that you're familiar with the controls, you're ready to practice driving. Look for a place without much traffic, such as an empty parking lot or a dirt road. Then follow these simple steps.
If you need help downloading the printable instructions, check out these helpful tips.

Starting the Car

In order to start the car for the first time, two things need to happen: the car must be in park and you must have your foot on the brake. So, with your right foot on the brake and the car in park, turn the key and start the car.

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