Preparing to Drive Again After a Long Break
There are many reasons why you might have to take a long break from driving your car at some point in your life, but unless the break is measured in years rather than in weeks, getting back behind the steering wheel shouldn’t require a lot of preparation. Though a little extra self-awareness in the first few days could be of benefit to you and other drivers, just until you’re sure you haven’t forgotten any important practices. Here are our tips for getting yourself ready to drive again:
1. First Check the Vehicle
If your break from driving has also seen your vehicle going unused for a few weeks, you would be wise to perform a few critical tests and checks on the vehicle before pulling out of your driveway.
Check All the Tyres
Being stationary for an extended period can cause your tyres to deflate, both from the immobile weight of the car, and the rubber of the tyres breaking down. If it isn’t serious, some tyres would deflate slightly, but any tyre that has deflated fully should be checked more thoroughly. Remember to also check the spare tyre before getting them all pumped up to the right pressure.
Check the Battery
Your car’s battery is kept charged by driving regularly, with at least 30 minutes of driving needed to charge. Being left untouched for a few weeks could well see the battery being flat when you finally get around to driving again. Getting the battery charged or jump starting your car should do the trick, but if it has been too long you could be looking at having to replace the battery.
Give the Car a Good Wash
Even if the car isn’t that dirty, washing the car gives you an opportunity to do a finer inspection of the vehicle, especially looking for cracks and chips on the windscreen and other windows, and checking on the condition of your windscreen wipers. If you had any chips or cracks in your windscreen before taking a break from driving, check to see that they haven’t expanded. Schedule a visit to Instant Windscreens or use our mobile windscreen repair service to have minor windscreen damage repaired before you start driving again. There really is no better time than now.
2. Prepare Yourself
Preparing yourself means more than just motivating yourself, you should also avoid making your first trip in your car a long one on busy roads. If you know you’re soon going to have to get onto a highway or drive interstate, prepare yourself by driving in your neighbourhood first, then finding a moderately busy route, and finally – when you’re confident enough – try driving in peak traffic.
You would do well to minimise distractions during all these short refreshers, so definitely no driving with children or pets in the car, and keep the radio off at first. How slow you take things is also dependent on how long it has been since you’ve driven a car, but it should not be necessary for you to schedule some driving lessons for yourself. Unless you really want to.