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How to use vehicle controls

Below are driver controls you should know about:

  • Door Latch: Every door in your car has a latch and manual lock; make sure all doors are locked before you drive – they could fly open during a crash.
  • Door and Window Controls: In most vehicles, the driver can operate all door locks and windows through controls on the driver's door. Side mirror controls are also located here.
  • Steering Column: The steering column contains the steering wheel, horn, ignition switch, wiper lever, and multifunction level. Most cars allow you to adjust the wheel to a height that is safe and comfortable for the driver.
  • Instrument Panel: This will tell you about your current speed and mileage. The instrument panel also displays indicator lights that warn you about open doors, low fuel, etc. You should consult your vehicle's owner's manual to find out where each indicator could appear.
  • Start Button: Some newer vehicles will have a push button instead of, or along with, an ignition switch. This button can start or stop the engine. Don't rely on it during an emergency; it may take too long to respond to be helpful.
  • Rearview Mirror: Always adjust your mirrors before you drive so that you can see clearly. The rearview mirror lets you see out of the rear window. Use the switch on the bottom of the mirror to reduce sun glare.
  • Air Conditioning: Adjust/turn air conditioning controls/knob in order to make the temperature inside your vehicle comfortable. You can also use the temperature controls to defrost your windows, so they are clear during cold or foggy weather.
  • Stereo System: At a low volume, the stereo can help you stay alert while you drive. Don't look away from the road to adjust the stereo. Never set the volume to a level that keeps you from hearing the road and other drivers.
  • Hazard Light Button: Press this button during an emergency to activate your hazard lights. All four turn signal lights will flash and alert other drivers that they must exercise caution.
  • Air Vents: Adjust the air vents to change the direction and level of air flow so that you and your passengers are comfortable.