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15 Pieces Of Fatherly Driving Advice That Apply To Everything

For many of us, receiving driving lessons from dad is a time-honored rite of passage. Maybe you didn’t realize it at the time, but a lot of that advice can go further. Not only will it help you behind the wheel, it can also help you get ahead in life.

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1. Always check over your shoulder before you merge.


For your car: Even if it feels like you're the only car around, traffic can change in an instant, and there may be a car in your blind spot.

For your life: Think before you act. Whether it's sending a heated email or making an impulse purchase, a couple extra minutes of thought is always a good thing.

2. Get to know the car you'll be driving.


For your car: Every car is different, so you need to pay attention to the unique factors that may affect your driving (like blind spots, turning radius, feel of the brakes, etc.).

For your life: Do your research. If you take some extra time to study for that big exam, prepare for that big meeting, or confirm the directions before you leave, you’ll usually have better results.

3. Kick the tires before you hit the road.


For your car: As in, always make sure your car is in proper working order before you get behind the wheel. Check the tires, lights, fluids, brakes, and especially the radio.

For your life: Don’t jump into any decisions without taking a close look at the details, whether it’s business, relationships, or your lunch order.

4. Don't text and drive.


For your car: Taking your eyes and attention off the road can have deadly consequences. No text is worth it.

For your life: Things are more fun if you're not constantly glued to your phone. Turning your phone off when you're out with friends and family will give you greater freedom to enjoy whatever you're doing. You'll be surprised by how little you're actually missing.

5. Find a mechanic you trust.


For your car: Don't wait until you need a major repair before you do some research and find a reliable repair shop.

For your life: It's OK to ask for help. Never underestimate the value of an honest expert.

6. Carry the appropriate roadside emergency supplies.


For your car: Shovels, jumper cables, flares, chains, flashlights, water, blankets, granola bars. Load up.

For your life: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

7. Don't slam on the brakes unless it's an emergency.

Justin Lee on Vine / Via

For your car: If you're driving attentively, a gradual and steady application of the brakes is much safer than a hard stop.

For your life: No matter the situation, always try to remain calm and avoid making any rash decisions based on emotions or fear.

9. Make sure you always have a spare tire in proper working condition.

robmba / CC BY http://2.0 / Via Flickr: robmba

For your car: Check the air pressure of your spare tire whenever you perform regularly scheduled car maintenance. Also, take some time and figure out how your jack works so you don't get stuck using it for the first time on the side of a highway.

For your life: Always have a backup plan in case things don’t go exactly right (pro tip: they rarely do).

10. Keep your hands on the wheel at 9 and 3.


For your car: The clock positions of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. put your hands in the best position for controlling your car. (Yeah, it used to be 10 and 2, but the times have changed.)

For your life: Keep a firm grasp on the things that matter most in your life.

11. Always check your gas gauge before you head out on a drive.


For your car: Before you take your car out of park and start driving, take a look at your fuel situation. A little awareness will help you avoid urgent trips to a gas station.

For your life: Get the rest and nourishment you need. If you're tired, dehydrated, and hungry, you won't be at your best and might not be able to make it to the finish line.

12. Check the weather before heading out on a long drive.

Mike Olbinski via Vimeo / Via

For your car: Weather can dramatically alter driving conditions. Take a few seconds to check your check your weather source for changing conditions.

For your life: Things change in a hurry.

13. Assume everyone else on the road is crazy.


For your car: Some of them definitely are.

For your life: Keep a cool head. There are crazy people out in the world. Stay above the fray and don't let them get under your skin.

14. Be aware of your surroundings and don't rely solely on GPS.


For your car: Use extra caution when you're driving someplace new for the first time. GPS isn't always 100% accurate.

For your life: Your intuition is valuable and shouldn't always be drowned out by data and statistics.

15. Change your oil on a regular schedule.


For your car: Well, not exactly like this, but you get the point.

For your life: Upkeep matters. Whether it's going to the dentist or having a regular doctor's office checkup, maintenance is always cheaper than repairs.