Have you been away from the road for a long time? Or are you still uncertain and anxious whenever you venture out with your car? Taking a drivers refresher course can be a great way to familiarize yourself with changes in traffic rules, driving conditions, and new car features. But you don’t have to return to driving school to refresh your driving skills. Instead, with the tips below, you can create a custom drivers refresher course that will allow you to improve your driving skills and take great care of your car.
Understanding Basic Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance is essential if you want to become a good driver. That’s because regular maintenance keeps your car in top condition, thus making it easier to control while on the road. In addition, according to National Auto Collision Centers, maintaining your vehicle can significantly reduce the risk of getting into an accident, thus helping to promote safer driving. So, when looking to create a custom drivers refresher course, you should start by learning some basic car maintenance practices.
The first thing to do when looking to learn about vehicle maintenance is to familiarize yourself with your car’s owner’s manual. Then, you should learn basic maintenance practices like checking tire pressure, inspecting and replacing fluids, changing filters, changing and rotating your tires, replacing spark plugs, etc. In addition, you should learn to diagnose problems with your car, for example, by interpreting dashboard warning signs and listening (and feeling) for issues like engine backfires, grinding gears, loose breaks, noisy suspensions, and more.
Of course, you’ll also need to purchase some essential car tools to properly maintain your cars. This includes screwdrivers, a torque wrench, a tire pressure gauge, a wrench, pliers, jumper cables, spanners, a jack, and others that you can find in your nearest auto parts store. You should also look into tires for sale near you and purchase one or two spare tires for your vehicle, which can come in handy in case of a flat.
Understanding Your Unique Vehicle Needs
Each driver has their own unique car needs. And how you use your vehicle will significantly impact road safety and car durability, handling, performance, fuel efficiency, etc. Therefore, another tip for creating a drivers refresher course is understanding your unique vehicle needs and finding ways to fulfill them.
An excellent example of a unique vehicle need is when you have to use your car for things that take a heavy toll on it. For example, you may drive long distances daily or use your vehicle for hauling heavy loads. This heavy usage can lead to constant breakdowns and frequent vehicle parts replacement. However, you can avoid these expensive and inconveniencing hassles by customizing your car with custom metal parts, thus making it more reliable and extending its lifespan.
Besides custom parts, specialized tires are another top way to cater to your unique vehicle needs. After all, how and where you drive your car can take a heavy toll on its tires, leading to frequent and expensive replacement; according to Upstart, replacing a single tire can cost between $150 and $1,000. However, with specialized driving tires, for example, winter, summer, or off-road tires, you can reduce the wear and tear and enjoy several other bonus benefits like improved performance, safety, and fuel efficiency.
Get Major Repairs
Regular maintenance can help extend your car’s lifespan and reduce the risk of a breakdown, but sometimes, these breakdowns are unavoidable. For example, you might get into an accident that damages your car, or your vehicle could develop a problem due to poor road conditions or normal wear and tear. Unfortunately, these severe breakdowns can render your car unusable, making them inconvenient. Therefore, getting prompt repairs for major problems is another top tip for creating a custom drivers refresher course.
There are several significant repairs that you shouldn’t delay getting. For example, you should immediately take your car to an auto repair shop for engine repairs or replacement if you detect any engine malfunctions. Likewise, you should promptly hire a welder to fix the damage to your car’s body panels or other metallic parts like the chassis, suspension frames, door frames, etc. Other critical issues you shouldn’t ignore include brake failure, suspension damage, transmission failure, damaged airbags, broken axle shaft, busted radiator, etc.
Of course, major repairs are not cheap; for example, according to ConsumerAffairs, you can spend between $4,000 and $10,000 replacing your engine. It also doesn’t help that these major breakdowns can occur at the most inopportune time and when you’ve not budgeted for them. Nonetheless, getting these repairs is still the better alternative, as it will be cheaper than replacing your car or finding alternative means of transport.
Choosing the Right Coverage
Proper car insurance helps to protect your car from any damages that might occur. In addition, it can protect you from liabilities that might occur in case of an accident and compensate for injuries and losses. Therefore, getting your car insured is another top tip when creating your ultimate custom drivers refresher course.
You can choose from several different types of coverage from your auto insurance firm. The top ones include liability coverage (to protect against bodily injuries or property damage liabilities), comprehensive coverage (to protect your car against peril damage), and collision coverage (in case of car collisions). Others include medical payment coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage.
You can consider several factors when choosing which insurance coverage to purchase for your vehicle. One of the top factors to consider is the local and state laws; for example, several states require drivers to have liability coverage. Other factors include your vehicle’s age, driving habits, car use, theft risk, or risk of other perils like storms and wildfires. Lastly, your budget will be another crucial factor, especially given the rising auto insurance rates; according to Forbes, car insurance costs have risen by 45.4% in the last ten years.
Home Projects to Protect Your Vehicle
Part of being a good driver is learning to protect your car, even when it’s not on the road. Therefore, when creating a drivers refresher course, consider investing in various projects that will keep your car safe in your home. Consequently, this will help to protect you from issues like expensive damage, theft, unusual wear and tear, etc.
A garage renovation is one of the top home projects you can invest in to protect your vehicle. For example, you can hire a contractor to fix your faulty garage door, thus reducing the risk of it closing on your car and causing expensive body panel damage. Another excellent idea is to invest in a more secure garage door, thus reducing the risk of vehicle theft.
Besides the garage, maintaining your driveway is another top way to protect your car. That’s because a poor or damaged driveway can damage your car (tires & wheels, suspension, chassis, etc.) or even lead to a crash on your property. Therefore, you should hire asphalt repair, sealcoating services, and other solutions to keep your driveway in perfect and safe condition.
Several other home projects can help to protect your vehicle. For example, you can install a home security system and landscape lighting, thus increasing the safety of your vehicle. You can also hire tree removal services, thus protecting your car from tree damage or bird droppings.
Resources After an Accident
A drivers refresher course can help reduce your risk of getting into a car accident. Unfortunately, despite how careful you’re, a crash can still occur. After all, according to Statista, over 9 million vehicles were involved in traffic crashes across the U.S. in 2020. Therefore, even as you learn to be a better driver, you should also prepare to deal with an accident’s aftermath.
Several resources can help you to successfully navigate the aftermath of an accident. For example, roadside assistance and towing services can help remove your car from the scene of a crash if you cannot drive it. In addition, a good auto repair shop can help to fix the damage sustained by your vehicle, thus helping you to get back on the road.
Lawyers are another vital resource that can come in handy after an accident. For example, hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you to receive compensation for any injuries suffered during a crash. In addition, a car accident attorney can help you receive compensation for your vehicle’s damage or assist you in filing insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and representing your interests in any resulting court cases.
When Accused of a Crime
Several local, state, and federal laws and regulations govern the use of roads. So, when creating a drivers refresher course, you need to familiarize yourself with them, lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Unfortunately, you might still be in trouble with the authority due to your driving. Therefore, knowing what to do when accused of a crime is also essential.
Of course, the best thing you can do when accused of a crime on the road is to hire a lawyer to represent you and defend your interest. Depending on the circumstance, your attorney may help you prove your innocence, for example, by showing that the charges against you are bogus. Alternatively, they can offer a compelling defense against the charges you’re accused of, thus helping you avoid a hefty fine or a prison sentence.
Several other tips can help you to successfully navigate the legal system if you’re accused of a crime because of your driving. For example, with the help of your lawyer, you can enter into a plea bargain, thus landing a less-harsh sentence than you would have if convicted. Or, in the case of something like a DUI, you can seek alcohol treatment services, which may help to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
When Repairs Are no Longer Feasible
Repairs can extend the lifespan of your car and may even be more cost-effective than buying a vehicle. However, there are times when they aren’t worth it. For example, according to Car Brain, you shouldn’t invest in repairs if they are near or more than 50% of the value of your car. Therefore, when creating your custom drivers refresher course, you should also plan for replacing your vehicle when repairs are no longer possible.
Of course, buying a new car can be a substantial financial commitment; according to Car and Driver, the average price of a new car is $48,008. Fortunately, you can reduce this cost by disposing of your old vehicle and using the money to fund your new car purchase. And one of the best ways to do this is by looking for ” we buy junk cars‘ stores near you that can offer you a reasonable price for your damaged vehicle.
Besides selling your car as junk, you could also sell it ‘as is’ to an individual buyer who can repair it at their own cost. However, if your car is badly damaged, you can consider selling it to a scrap metal recycling facility to be stripped for parts and then recycled. Of course, selling a damaged vehicle might not get you much money, but it can be enough to significantly reduce the cost of your new car.
Specialty Vehicle Resources
Besides regular vehicles, you may also need specialty vehicles for unique needs, such as running your business, carrying out a specific task, or even leisure. But just like their counterparts, these cars require good care and maintenance. Therefore, when creating a custom drivers refresher course, consider investing in resources for specialty vehicles.
One of the top specialty vehicle resources you can invest in is rental services. For example, depending on your specific situation, you can consider a box truck, RV, refrigerated truck, or an ATV rental. Renting these specialty vehicles can be more convenient and cheaper than spending money on a new car, especially if you only need it for a one-time event.
Repair and maintenance are other essential specialty vehicle resources you can invest in. Due to their specialized designs and uses, these vehicles might require services that you can find in your regular auto mechanic shop. Therefore, you must hire an auto repair expert familiar with your car model to keep it in good condition.
Lastly, you can invest in retrofitting services to upgrade your specialty vehicle or convert your regular car into one. For example, you can hire retrofitting services for interior upgrades, thus expanding the functionality of your vehicle. You could also invest in exterior upgrades like a new paint job and graphics, installing specialized tools (like satellite communications), and upgrading the vehicle’s lights.
A drivers refresher course can be a vital resource that can help you improve your driving habits, keep you safe on the road, and help you take better care of your car. However, you may not find everything you’re looking for in a regular refresher course. But, with the above tips, you can create your custom course, which will offer you all the resources you need to feel confident and give you peace of mind as a driver and a car owner.