New driver I need all the advice possible! - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 11:06 AM
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So I finally got a car yesterday. Its like a whole new world. My anxiety is still there though. The most I've ever driven by myself was to my mailbox for like 6 mins. I'm anxious about getting gas for the first time, using wipers when it rains, checking my tires????, lifting the hood???, etc. I'm just brand new and anxious. Any advice and success stories is welcomed. I will try driving for 30 mins in the neighborhood today but I'm so not ready to be driving to work alone today. Anybody similar?
You passed the driving test that is the tough part. Just drive slow and pay attention and you will be doing better then the majority of drivers. How do it feel having the freedom to go anywhere you want that driving gives you?
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post #42 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 04:21 PM
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Thanks really just want to make sure I park straight every time and make sure I switch lanes when its safe.

I've been driving for ages Kevin and I still have to watch this. I drive a lot on freeways (or used to before the pandemic) and it's very easy to miss someone in the lane beside you if you're not careful. Especially if everyone's going pretty fast. Check your mirrors and have a good look.
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post #43 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-03-2020, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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You passed the driving test that is the tough part. Just drive slow and pay attention and you will be doing better then the majority of drivers. How do it feel having the freedom to go anywhere you want that driving gives you?
I got my license almost 9 yrs ago. I don't go many places at all like 15 miles a day maybe . The big thing is the money I'm saving by not having to use Uber/Lyft

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I've been driving for ages Kevin and I still have to watch this. I drive a lot on freeways (or used to before the pandemic) and it's very easy to miss someone in the lane beside you if you're not careful. Especially if everyone's going pretty fast. Check your mirrors and have a good look.
Thanks I just stay in the left lane until close to my exit and then go in the right. I don't like switching over too late though.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
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post #44 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-04-2020, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Driving this weekend will be a test with the Labor day traffic/crowd.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
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post #45 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-06-2020, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so I know how to drive to my local walmart and get to work but I feel like I need to venture out more. Definitely want to practice a little more these next 2 off days.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
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How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
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post #46 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Update: Going well. I still have trouble switching lanes. When I look out my window its hard for to judge when its safe or not so I tend to wait longer than normal. I'm just so proud of myself for driving period but want to improve daily. Also trying to remember I can't just drive it I have to watch out for maintenance and all that is anxiety provoking in itself.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
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post #47 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-09-2020, 07:52 AM
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I'd say to not get influenced by other drivers, in terms of taking rushed decisions. Tailgating might be common and horns and impatient people are a thing. If things get stressful, being in our car is a nice place to just breathe and listen to music or shut down the thing to be more calm. Make yourself comfortable in your car. It's your personal space!
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post #48 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 10:52 AM
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Update: Going well. I still have trouble switching lanes. When I look out my window its hard for to judge when its safe or not so I tend to wait longer than normal.
Your mirrors will tell you everything you need to know and allow you to prepare well in advance. Looking out the window is only done to double check what you already know to be true. You will get better at judgement with time. When changing lanes, I like to categorize the vehicle I want to pass into one of three different categories:

A) Super slow
They are the tourist, elderly, overly cautious, or lost variety. They want to hangout back there in the distance, holding up traffic. Car A is the one that people almost cutoff thinking that the wide space left open is a spot for the taking rather than a safety space bubble. Depending on how low the speed is, Car A can almost be a hazard even if they think they're being safe.

It is usually safe to pass them - just watch to make sure they don't speed up.

B) Approaching
These cars are in a hurry. Maybe they broke their non-driving arm and decided it would be better to drive to the emergency room rather than have an ambulance take them! Maybe they are within minutes of being late to a life changing interview for a job, which if obtained would allow them to pack their bags and leave their small uneventful town that they've lived in all their life. Whatever the reason, Car B is a speed demon - the size of their vehicle will get bigger and bigger in your mirror until the shape fills the mirror completely. To get in front of them would be like volunteering to stand in front of a moving steamroller.

Wait until they pass before switching into their lane. Do not attempt to race them - leapfrogging will not work with them.

C) In-Between
Of course life isn't so black and white and Car C may vary anywhere between A and B. The key with them is to use your mirrors smartly and defensively. Rather than wait until the last minute to see if it's clear, ideally you would have been keeping an eye on them (and others) occasionally - every so often glancing up at the rear view and side view mirrors to characterize not only the flow of traffic as a whole, but each nearby vehicle as an individual. Looking into the mirrors is not just done when you want to move over - it is done frequently every so often to build up a situational awareness. Think of driving as a sport where the objective is to make it to your destination safely and to keep others safe as well. Your actions impact other people. Other people's actions impact you. Defensive driving is about maneuvering in such a way that you keep everyone, including yourself, safe. It's about being courteous because doing so mitigates road rage, maintains the flow of traffic and protects you. It's about not just thinking about what you need to do for you but what needs to be done to not disrupt the flow.

---

Safety tips

DO NOT HEAVILY AND EXCESSIVELY USE YOUR BRAKES ALL THE TIME.
There are many times when simply letting your foot off the gas petal is more effective at slowing down. Practice the two different ways of slowing down in a manner that is conducive to traffic flow. When someone brakes, it could indicate that there is an upcoming hazard (kids playing, deer running across the street, an upturned nail, a pothole etc.), a lane change, or a turn. Every time you break, the driver behind you must prepare for those things that are unexpected. There is another way to slow down - if it is safe to do, take your foot of the brake to slow down instead. And if a heavy break user is in front of you, change lanes.


If a light turns orange and has been so for quite some time, then stop on red. Red light runners only end up T-boning at the intersection.

If you're in heavy traffic that clogs the streets and you're approaching a red light, make sure you're not blocking anyone when you stop. There are even signs that warn not to block intersections.

If it's green but there is no room on the other side for your car, just sit there. No one wants a trail of cars to block the intersection. I've had times where I had to wait several minutes at the red because an accident up ahead held traffic back and filled up all the empty space. I just went once there was finally a spot I could drive into on the other side.

If you're close to the intersection and the light quickly turns from green to orange, just drive through. If you stop you may get hit from behind by the person who thought you would keep going. The same applies to ramps with yield signs at the end that merge onto traffic. If there is more than enough space to safely go forward then do so, otherwise the person behind you may run into you (as someone who works in allied health, I know that this scenario is what commonly brings people into the physical therapy office - they need to have their resulting back pain treated).

Give people enough time to respond to the choices you make on the road. Signal when turning. Don't take too long to turn but don't go so fast that you flip over

If you're stopped at a red light and it finally turns green, don't be so quick to stomp on the gas. Often times people run the light. There's no harm in waiting a few seconds to look both ways before accelerating again - you all were waiting at the red light anyway - why not add a few more seconds before taking off like a rocket launcher? I encountered many instances where I was waiting these few extra seconds and three cars drove through or a HUGE truck came hurtling pass.

Work with the flow of traffic. Sometimes you will need to speed up to get in front of someone. At the same time, there are moments where slowing down to get behind someone is equally important. The goal is NOT to select a speed and stay that way the whole time. Rather you choose the speed that is most appropriate at the moment. Also be mindful of who is ahead of you and behind you when you make your decision to slow down or speed up for a lane change. It's kind of like a jigsaw puzzle except all the pieces are moving about.

Look ahead for and avoid nails, roadkill, glass and other debris

---

I did not get my license in high school like so many other fearless teens. I earned it in college and relied on my parents until then. In the beginning I was too afraid to cross the traffic intersection that led out of my neighborhood. I did not want to leave the parking lot. Even the main road coursing its way through my neighborhood was too much because there literally were twists and turns throughout the whole path!

I think I read that it takes 5 years to be completely comfortable with driving. I think my first job (which required driving most of the time in a large truck) helped to shorten that time and I reached that level of comfort a bit quicker. The first day behind the wheel I was slightly shaking involuntarily even after stepping out. I could only do 10 minutes that day. It is thanks to the grace of Jesus Christ that I kept that job for so long! . For reasons I won't go into here, prayer from myself and a large group of church members also helped. For those agnostics out there- read what the gospel is and investigate whether Jesus is for you too!

I used to see driving as a nightmare - and one day after failing every step of the way I just walked to my bed and fell face down into a collapsed heap of depression for the rest of that day.

But now I feel like driving is something to enjoy even with all the headaches. I've built up the patience needed handle things calmly no matter the weather or crowed conditions because I've allowed myself get behind the wheel hundreds of times in all sorts of situations. Over and over, choosing to drive was like ripping off hairs with hot wax. I did not want to do it. But now I have a trust in my own abilities the same way an experienced chess player doesn't sweat because they have hours upon hours of pattern recognition and strategies stored up in their mind.

Be that chess player. Start to accumulate as much experience as you can so that you develop your own pattern recognition with the road. Become the driver, who at anytime, can pull out the appropriate defensive driving strategy from the countless storage closets you have set up in your mind!

Don't give up! That phrase sounds cheesy especially knowing that I wanted to myself so many times before but it's the best thing you can do for yourself! The moment we as a nation decided to go with a highway system over the railroad was the day that made not giving up on driving our only option.


John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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post #49 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I'd say to not get influenced by other drivers, in terms of taking rushed decisions. Tailgating might be common and horns and impatient people are a thing. If things get stressful, being in our car is a nice place to just breathe and listen to music or shut down the thing to be more calm. Make yourself comfortable in your car. It's your personal space!
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by fire mage64 View Post
Your mirrors will tell you everything you need to know and allow you to prepare well in advance. Looking out the window is only done to double check what you already know to be true. You will get better at judgement with time. When changing lanes, I like to categorize the vehicle I want to pass into one of three different categories:

A) Super slow
They are the tourist, elderly, overly cautious, or lost variety. They want to hangout back there in the distance, holding up traffic. Car A is the one that people almost cutoff thinking that the wide space left open is a spot for the taking rather than a safety space bubble. Depending on how low the speed is, Car A can almost be a hazard even if they think they're being safe.

It is usually safe to pass them - just watch to make sure they don't speed up.

B) Approaching
These cars are in a hurry. Maybe they broke their non-driving arm and decided it would be better to drive to the emergency room rather than have an ambulance take them! Maybe they are within minutes of being late to a life changing interview for a job, which if obtained would allow them to pack their bags and leave their small uneventful town that they've lived in all their life. Whatever the reason, Car B is a speed demon - the size of their vehicle will get bigger and bigger in your mirror until the shape fills the mirror completely. To get in front of them would be like volunteering to stand in front of a moving steamroller.

Wait until they pass before switching into their lane. Do not attempt to race them - leapfrogging will not work with them.

C) In-Between
Of course life isn't so black and white and Car C may vary anywhere between A and B. The key with them is to use your mirrors smartly and defensively. Rather than wait until the last minute to see if it's clear, ideally you would have been keeping an eye on them (and others) occasionally - every so often glancing up at the rear view and side view mirrors to characterize not only the flow of traffic as a whole, but each nearby vehicle as an individual. Looking into the mirrors is not just done when you want to move over - it is done frequently every so often to build up a situational awareness. Think of driving as a sport where the objective is to make it to your destination safely and to keep others safe as well. Your actions impact other people. Other people's actions impact you. Defensive driving is about maneuvering in such a way that you keep everyone, including yourself, safe. Its about being courteous because doing so mitigates road rage, maintains the flow of traffic and protects you. It's about not just thinking about what you need to do for you but what needs to be done to not disrupt the flow.

---

Safety tips

DO NOT HEAVILY AND EXCESSIVELY USE YOUR BRAKES ALL THE TIME.
There are many times when simply letting your foot off the gas petal is more effective at slowing down. Practice the two different ways of slowing down in a manner than is conducive to traffic flow. When someone brakes, it could indicate that there is an upcoming hazard (kids playing, deer running across the street, an upturned nail, a pothole etc.), a lane change, or a turn. Every time you break, the driver behind you must prepare for those things that are unexpected. There is another way to slow down - if it is safe to do, take your foot of the brake to slow down instead. And if a heavy break user is in front of you, change lanes.


If a light turns orange and has been so for quite some time, then stop. Red light runners only end up T-boning at the intersection.

If you're in heavy traffic that clogs the streets and you're approaching a red light, make you're not blocking anyone when you stop. There are even signs that warn not to block intersections.

If it's green but there is no room on the other side for your car, just sit there. No one wants a trail of cars to block the intersection. I've had times where I had to wait several minutes at the red because an accident up ahead held traffic back and filled up all the empty space. I just went once there was finally a spot I could drive into on the other side.

If you're close to the intersection and the light quickly turns from green to orange, just drive through. If you stop you may get hit from behind by the person who thought you would keep going. The same applies to ramps with yield signs at the end that merge onto traffic. If there is more than enough space to safely go forward then do so, otherwise the person behind you may run into you (as someone who works in allied health, I know that this scenario is what commonly brings people into the physical therapy office - they need to have their resulting back pain treated).

Give people enough time to respond to the choices you make on the road. Signal when turning. Don't take to long to turn but don't go so fast that you flip over

If you're stopped at a red light and it finally turns green, don't be so quick to stomp on the gas. Often times people run the light. There's no harm in waiting a few seconds and look both ways before accelerating again - you all were waiting at the red light anyway - why not add a few more seconds before taking off like a rocket launcher? I encountered many instances where I was waiting these few extra seconds and three cars drove through or a HUGE truck came hurtling pass.

Work with the flow of traffic. Sometimes you will need to speed up to get in front of someone. At the same time, there are moments where slowing down to get behind someone is equally important. The goal is NOT to select a speed and stay that way the whole time. Rather you choose the speed that is most appropriate at the moment.

Look ahead for and avoid nails, roadkill, glass and other debris

---

I did not get my license in high school like so many other fearless teens. I earned it in college and relied on my parents. In the beginning I was too afraid to cross the traffic intersection that led out of my neighborhood. I did not want to leave the parking lot. Even the main road coursing its way through my neighborhood was too much because there literally were twists and turns throughout the whole path!

I think I read that it takes 5 years to be completely comfortable with driving. I think my first job (which required driving most of the time in a large truck) helped to shorten that time and I reached that level of comfort a bit quicker.

I used to see driving as a nightmare - and one day after failing ever step of the way I just walked to my bed and fell face down into a collapsed heap of depression for the rest of that day.

But now I feel like driving is something to enjoy even with all the headaches. I've built up the patience needed handle things calmly no matter the weather or crowed conditions because I've allowed myself get behind the wheel hundreds of times in all sorts of situations. Over and over, choosing to drive was like ripping off hairs with hot wax. I did not want to do it. But now I have a trust in my own abilities the same way an experienced chess player doesn't sweat because they have hours upon hours of pattern recognition and strategies stored up in their mind.

Be that chess player. Start to accumulate as much experience as you can so that you develop your own pattern recognition with the road. Become the driver, who at anytime, pull out the appropriate defensive driving strategy from the countless storage closets you have set up in your mind

Don't give up! That phrase sounds cheesy especially knowing that I want to myself but it's the best thing you can do for yourself! The moment we as a nation decided to go with a highway system over the railroad was the day that made not giving up on driving our only option.

Very detailed thanks. I'm getting good at switching lanes, working on merging better now. I tend to slow down too much while trying to see when its safe to merge in instead of going with the speed.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #50 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 11:58 AM
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To eliminate any anxiety associated with tire pressure, tire inflators are also an option. They are powered by your car's cigarette lighter socket, provide a reading of the current pressure and inflate the tire up to the pressure of your choosing. The car manual will have a suggested number.

John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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post #51 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-13-2020, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I'm installing a phone holder in my car, will try to drive a different location, and practice overall more tomorrow. Just want to be a pro at this and not have any doubts/fears.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #52 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 04:52 PM
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Ive been driving since 2010 and I still really dont know how to open the hood of a car. Ive done before but so infrequently I forget lol.

I think my biggest mistake I still do as far as driving are getting caught not checking my blindside spots and switch lanes only to closely cut off people. Its why I bought blindside mirrors. Im very focused wheb driving but sometimes Ill get lacksadaisical and will find myself switching lanes only to find a car pop outta nowhere in the lane.

It hasnt happened since I bought blindside mirrors but I was driving my moms car the other week and didnt set the mirrors for my height so I almost got into a close accident when switching lanes and completely cutting off someone.

And also, Ive been on the other side of this as well being the one in the blindspot and a driver start to switch into my lane without seeing me so thats another thing as well, when this happens so thats another thing to look out for although it rarely happens but when it does, you need to be ready to react.

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post #53 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 10:41 PM
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Im totally in the same boat. Ill be 29 soon amd had my license since i wws 25. I can drive to the store and work and i can drive 30ish minutes away but only bc i had someone show me thr way first.

If im going somewhere new i get nervous and usually have my mom take or dsd drive me.

I also need to practice driving out of my comfort zone and perfecting driving bc im gonna be moving out soon.
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post #54 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 10:42 PM
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Yeah I'm installing a phone holder in my car, will try to drive a different location, and practice overall more tomorrow. Just want to be a pro at this and not have any doubts/fears.
Where do u get a phone/gps holder?
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post #55 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Where do u get a phone/gps holder?
Amazon

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post #56 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Im totally in the same boat. Ill be 29 soon amd had my license since i wws 25. I can drive to the store and work and i can drive 30ish minutes away but only bc i had someone show me thr way first.

If im going somewhere new i get nervous and usually have my mom take or dsd drive me.

I also need to practice driving out of my comfort zone and perfecting driving bc im gonna be moving out soon.
Glad you can relate! Congrats on moving out hope to be there soon as well. Trying to bring my income up now.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #57 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Update: So driving has been going ok no wrecks lol. Got gas today for the first time alone, I accidently popped my hood instead of the gas thing. But I got 12 gals for only 20 bucks! Need to really make sure my mirrors are adjusted right, I've been driving and not really doing anything with my mirrors. With merging I learned S.A.F.E Signal, accelerate, find a spot, and enter. The hardest part is finding a spot to merge in. But overall its been going ok and I'm saving so much!

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
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How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
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post #58 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 12:14 PM
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Update: So driving has been going ok no wrecks lol. Got gas today for the first time alone, I accidently popped my hood instead of the gas thing. But I got 12 gals for only 20 bucks! Need to really make sure my mirrors are adjusted right, I've been driving and not really doing anything with my mirrors. With merging I learned S.A.F.E Signal, accelerate, find a spot, and enter. The hardest part is finding a spot to merge in. But overall its been going ok and I'm saving so much!
thats great kevin. keep up the good work and drive safely and be careful with aggressive drivers. theres many drivers here in my area that everyone tends to tailgate really close and then give looks. Its annoying but I keep on doing what I learned in driving school. Ive always wondered how the driving education system is now compared to what it was twenty years ago. Although learning how to drive takes time and patience to get a hang of it sounds like youre doing well.

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post #59 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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^^ Thanks

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How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
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post #60 of 66 (permalink) Old 09-20-2020, 01:49 PM
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Update: So driving has been going ok no wrecks lol. Got gas today for the first time alone, I accidently popped my hood instead of the gas thing. But I got 12 gals for only 20 bucks! Need to really make sure my mirrors are adjusted right, I've been driving and not really doing anything with my mirrors. With merging I learned S.A.F.E Signal, accelerate, find a spot, and enter. The hardest part is finding a spot to merge in. But overall its been going ok and I'm saving so much!

I know you're also big on saving, so look into places you can sign up for rewards cards. Not like credit cards, but like member rewards cards where you get like $0.03 off each gallon and whatnot.

I get my groceries at Kroger and every $100 you spend you get $0.10 off a gallon on one purchase up to 35 gallons and you can get up to $1 off per gallon. Sometimes they do 4x fuel points on certain things too.

A lot of gas stations have the rewards cards though. One of the ones I use sometimes gives $0.20 a gallon off with the purchase of a car wash that's normally $6. I wash my truck about every week and with a 26 gallon tank it's almost a free wash if I'm filling it up.

With an actual Shell credit card you get $0.10 off per gallon up to 20 gallons. I've been debating getting that one. I go to another state every night for work where gas is about $0.60 a gallon cheaper than here and there's a Shell near my last stop. Saving $14 on 20 gallons is significant. I'd just have to bring a few gas cans with me once a week.

Anyway, worth looking into depending on what's in your area.
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