The 5-Minute Routine You Should Always Do Before Driving

that will improve your entire driving experience

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This post is all about the 7 things you should do before driving.

Whether we’re running late, in a hurry, or just don’t know better, most of us just get into the car and start driving.

This isn’t wrong, per se.

But did you know that your entire driving experience can be improved if you take the time to do 7 things first?

These 7 steps take 5 minutes or less but can make your journey safer, more comfortable, and less stressful, regardless of where you’re going.

And if 7 steps seem like a lot, don’t worry! 

After a few days, you’ll find that you can do it without even thinking about it.

So without further ado, here are those 7 things you should always do before driving off.

Related: Improve Your Driving Skills By Practicing These 5 Life Skills Daily

What To Do Before Driving

1. Check Your Surroundings

Time Required: 30 seconds

A lot of mishaps can be avoided if you take the time to check your surroundings before you get into your car.

Doing this allows you to see how much space there is between your car and other obstacles that you might not be able to see in your car mirrors.

This will help you make informed decisions as you drive, (particularly when reversing) instead of going blindly.

This is also an opportunity to check your tires to see if any are flat before you get on the road.

2. Get Comfortable

Time Required: 1 minute 30 seconds

You’d be surprised how much better you drive when you feel comfortable. 

Related: ‘Why Am I A Bad Driver?’ 10 Reasons Your Driving Sucks

That’s because you can just focus on driving instead of fidgeting in your seat every few minutes.

Being uncomfortable is definitely distracting and we all know distractions should be avoided at all costs when driving.

Here are some things you’ll want to adjust to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible:

1. Your Seat

Ensure that your seat is at the right height so you can see the road clearly, and at a distance to allow enough space for your legs.

2. Your Shoes

Heels, slippers, and platform shoes are all no-nos when driving since they prevent you from getting a proper grip on the pedals.

It’s a good idea to keep a suitable pair of driving shoes in your car that you can change into before you drive. 

3. The Temperature

If you’re one of those people who just can’t concentrate when it’s too cold, you’ll completely understand why this is on the list.

Being too hot can have the same effect so it’s best to get it just right before you start moving.

3. Adjust Your Mirrors

Time Required: 10 seconds

Correctly positioned mirrors are a must when driving since they can:

  • reduce/ eliminate blind spots
  • reduce glares
  • make parking easier
  • improve safety 

If you share your vehicle, don’t assume that the mirrors are fine, since the height, seating position, and preferences of the other drivers all affect mirror positions.  

For this same reason, you should only adjust your mirrors after adjusting your seat (because your mirror position will change based on your exact seating position). 

4. Put On Your Music/ Podcast

Time Required: 40 seconds

If you prefer driving while listening to music or a podcast you should take the time to set that up before you drive off.

Try creating a playlist, so you don’t have to keep choosing the next song or podcast episode when the current one ends.

Trying to do it once you’re on the road is distracting and we all know how dangerous that can be.

5. Mental Prep

Time Required: 30 seconds

This is particularly useful if you struggle with driving anxiety but everyone can benefit from it.

During this step, you want to take the time to boost your confidence and calm any nerves before you get on the road. 

You can do this by:

  1. Saying a prayer
  2. Repeating your favorite affirmations
  3. Taking deep breaths
  4. Visualizing the route you’re about to drive

Visualization allows you to bring to mind any stop signs, traffic lights, and other things you should be aware of so you aren’t caught off guard. I did this before my very first time driving alone and realized I needed to take an alternative route because I wasn’t 100% sure of what I needed to do at a certain intersection.

6. Put On Your Seatbelt

Time Required: 5 seconds

This is a non-negotiable.

Don’t save it for later –  it’s likely that you’ll remember at an inconvenient time or forget completely.

Some people complain that seatbelts feel uncomfortable, but these narrow pieces of fabric have saved lives.

If you can’t stand the way your seatbelt feels, we recommend these seatbelt covers which are soft and comfortable, but will still keep you protected.

7. Warm Up Your Car

Time Required: 30 seconds

Now it’s finally time to turn on your engine.

But wait! You’re not ready to go just yet.

If you have an older car, it’s recommended that you wait about 30 seconds to let your car warm up. This does burn fuel, so you don’t want to wait much longer. 

After that, don’t just slam the gas pedal. 

Both new and old car owners are advised to drive ‘gently’ for about 10 minutes.

This means driving a little slower for the first few minutes and avoiding pressing the gas pedal too hard.

This step allows your engine and other components to gradually reach the ideal operating temperature which ultimately helps your car to perform better and last more years.

TIP: Combine steps 7 and 5 for an even shorter routine.

The Only Time You Shouldn’t Do This Routine

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

If you are in a dark and isolated area, or anywhere you don’t feel 100% comfortable, please get into your car as quickly as possible and drive to somewhere safe first! 

Don’t waste time walking around your vehicle or trying to find the perfect song. 

Your immediate safety is the top priority.

If you need to, you can pull over in a safer area later and take all the time you need.


So there you have it — a quick but effective routine to do before you start driving.

These 7 steps can help make your journey safer, more comfortable, and less stressful — which is what every driver wants.

Know someone who could benefit from this routine? Feel free to share this post and leave your thoughts in the comments!