Learn to Get Adjusted to Drive Any Car
Ever borrowed a friend’s car? If you are a terrible person, you change all the radio presets, but there are certain adjustments you should make to be prepared to drive safely. They may seem mundane, but it is far better to get acquainted with and adjusted to a new car while it is parked, than have to find something out about this unfamiliar vehicle when you’re traveling at 60 MPH. Adjust the seat and wheel:
What good is driving this car if you can’t turn the wheel all the way because you’re all cramped in an awkward position. Figure out where the seat controls are, get comfortable, and then adjust the wheel so that you can turn it without struggling. If you want to be a nice friend, try to remember where the original seat settings were so you can set it back. If the car has power memory seats, then save the original seat setting so you’re pal doesn’t have to go through the trouble of changing it back.
Adjust the mirrors:
This is a must, and you should do it AFTER changing the seat, as that changes your sight lines. The rear view is pretty straight forward, but there are a couple schools of thought when it comes to side view mirrors. To get rid of blind spots, I prefer to set the mirror so that you see just a sliver of your vehicle on the near-side of the car. That way there should be just a bit of overlap between the side and rear view mirrors, while also minimizing blind spots.
Find the gas tank:
You don’t need to be outside the car to find the gas cap. Simply look at the fuel level gauge. There should be a little gas tank with an arrow pointing to the side of the car the cap is on. Boom, you’re good to go.
Pair the Bluetooth (optional, but recommended):
Most modern cars have Bluetooth systems. They tremendously reduce driver distraction. There is usually either a phone button or a voice control button. When you bring up the phone menu, there is either a “pair phone” option, or it is in a setting sub-menu. Once you have paired that phone, as long as your phone’s Bluetooth is activated, the car will find it every time you get in the car. This is not as essential as the previous steps, but you have enough to worry about getting set in a new car- don't burden yourself with hopping on the phone, which causes distracted driving. Taking the moment to pair the phone instantly makes your phone part of this vehicle.
Audio and Climate controls:
You might not want to change all the presets, but figure out how easy it is to use the radio before you get going. Some newer stereos are more complicated and setting the radio can actually be kind of a distraction. This last part you can sort of figure our on the fly, but once again- taking the moment to familiarize yourself with the toggles and getting the climate control to where you want it is worth the 15 seconds it takes to scan it over.
Photo Credits: The Sunday Times, Cars.about.com