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Q: What precautions should I observe when driving?

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What precautions should I observe when driving?

A: Getting out on the road is the entire point...

Getting out on the road is the entire point of owning a vehicle. However, you need to ensure that you’re doing it correctly. If you’re unfamiliar with the controls in the car, or you’re not using the right driving techniques, you can severely compromise your safety, that of your passengers, and even put others on the road with you in harm’s way. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Always hold the brake when the car is stopped to prevent it from creeping forward. Put the car in park if you’ll be stopped for more than a few minutes.

  • Familiarize yourself with the controls before you drive.

  • Don’t park over dry grass, rags, paper or any other flammable material. Your exhaust is very hot and may start a fire.

  • Don’t let your car roll forward in reverse or backward in drive, as it may cause the engine to stall out.

  • If you smell exhaust in the cabin, open the windows and turn the air on fresh. Have the exhaust system inspected immediately.

  • Don’t shift to reverse without coming to a stop first.

  • Don’t shift to drive directly from reverse. Come to a stop first.

  • Use lower gears for steep inclines to benefit from engine braking and avoid overheating your brakes.

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