10 Driving Rules You May Have Forgotten

Brush up on your road skills with this handy checklist

Woman driving car looking out window

If it has been years since your last driver’s ed class, chances are you’ve forgotten one or two of the finer points of driving. So, to help refresh your memory, we’ve developed a list of the 10 things you should always remember when you’re behind the wheel. Follow these tips, and you’ll make driving instructors everywhere proud.

Hold the wheel

Grasp the steering wheel as if it’s a clock, with your hands in the 9 and 3 position. This way, you can make a sudden correction without letting go of the wheel, giving you as much control as possible.

Sit properly

Raise the seat back so you’re upright and close enough to the wheel for your elbows to be at a 90-degree angle, with your shoulder blades supported by the seat back. You’ll be more alert and better positioned to react to the unexpected.

Set up your mirrors accurately

Most people arrange their side mirrors so they can see the edge of their car, but this area is visible with the rear-view mirror. Set the side mirrors wider so they just overlap with the image in the main mirror and you’ll no longer have a blind spot.

Follow the two-second rule

Avoid tailgating by keeping at least two seconds of driving time between you and the vehicle in front. This gives you space to brake in a hurry and will also let you see farther down the road, helping you to anticipate potential problems.

Shut off the phone

Using a hand-held phone while driving is against the law almost everywhere. But go further: don’t even make a call with a hands-free device while you’re on the road. It’s still a distraction.

Signal every time

Don’t just turn on your indicators when there’s another vehicle around; do it every time. That will get you in the signalling habit.

Back into parking spaces

Always reverse into a space in a parking lot if you can’t drive right through. It’s safer when leaving because you can better see cars coming toward you.

Keep to the right

If the right lane is clear, drive in it. The law says keep right except to pass; to do otherwise blocks faster traffic and frustrates drivers. An irritated driver is a bad driver—you don’t want a tailgater behind you.

Read the manual

Look through the owner’s manual in the glovebox—you may learn something you didn’t know. It will also tell you the recommended tire pressures; don’t go by the maximum pressures printed on the tires themselves.

Clean your car

Just as you feel better when you wear clean clothes, you’ll drive better when you feel pride in your vehicle. Toss the garbage and run your car through the wash on the next sunny day. The good vibes will rub off on your driving.

Aspiring driver? Take the MTO-approved CAA How to Drive Beginner Driver Education Course Curriculum offered at all CAA Approved Driving School locations.

And if you to really want to amp up your skills behind the wheel, consider visiting one of Canada’s best racing schools.