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Flow of traffic

The first part of driving a car is probably also the most obvious and the most essential; before one is able to begin operating a vehicle, one must enter the vehicle. To enter a car, stand at the driver’s side door (this will be the door that is on the right side when standing in front of the vehicle and facing it; if the car has four doors, the driver’s side door will be in front of the rear passenger door on the same side). Place your hand on the door handle. If the door handle operates as a lever, grasp the handle and pull upward.

If the handle has a push-button mechanism, press down on the button with the thumb while holding onto the handle with the remaining fingers. In either case, pull outward while holding the door handle, and the door should open. Now that the door is open, sit directly behind the steering wheel (in the driver’s seat). Grasp the interior door handle, and pull it inward to close the door. Be sure that the door has been shut firmly and is securely closed. If the car does not have automatic seatbelts, locate the manual seatbelt, pull the belt across the torso, and securely buckle the seatbelt by placing the metal tip into the clasp.

Check all mirrors in the vehicle to ensure clear visibility of the rear and sides of the vehicle. If all sides of the vehicle are not visible, adjust the mirrors until full visibility has been achieved. After successfully entering the car, the next part of the process is to start the engine. Locate the ignition. This is the slot in which the engine key will be placed. The ignition is usually located on the right side of the steering column. It may sometimes be located in the dashboard next to the steering wheel or even on the center console in some vehicles.

After locating the ignition, place the engine key into the ignition. If the vehicle has multiple keys, the engine key usually has a black rubber tip with the vehicle manufacturer’s logo imprinted on it. Once the key is inserted in the ignition, grasp the key, and turn it forward, holding the key in place for no more than a few seconds. Release the key when the sound of the engine changes from a quick stutter to a steady roar (this will usually occur within a matter of one to three seconds).

The engine is now in operation, and the car is ready to be driven. Now that the engine has successfully been started, the next step is to move the car forward. Locate the gearshift (this is a lever which can either be attached to the steering column or in some models the lever will be located on the center console). After locating the gearshift, locate the display which reads “N, R, D, P”. Using the right foot, apply pressure to the brake (the brake is a pedal on the floor; it is left of the accelerator pedal).

While maintaining complete pressure on the brake, move the gearshift until the corresponding display indicates that the letter “D” has been selected (“D” means drive). This puts the car in gear to be driven forward. Check to ensure that there are no objects, humans, animals, or traffic in front of the car and gently release foot pressure from the brake. The car should slowly move forward. Gradually increase the speed of the car by using the right foot to gently press the accelerator (located to the right of the brake pedal). Continue to increase speed until the vehicle is moving along with the flow of traffic.

If there is no traffic on the road, check the speedometer to ensure that the vehicle is traveling at or slightly below the legal speed limit. To slow down, remove the right foot from the accelerator, and apply gentle pressure to the brake until the desired speed has been reached. The final important aspect of basic driving is stopping. When a stop is desired, come to a gentle stop by smoothly applying increasing pressure to the brake. The vehicle will come to a complete stop once the brake pedal has been pressed down as far as it will go.

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