Learning to drive and passing our driving test is a major milestone for all of us as this provides us with the opportunity to tour the country as we wish. So while we get carried away buying our first car and thinking that we can do anything and go anywhere now that we have a set of wheels, it’s important to remember that there will be situations we’ll encounter while on the road that we haven’t experienced before and we are therefore likely to make some mistakes. So, to help with the lack of experience new drivers have behind the wheel, we’ve created a list to help keep yourself and others safe.
Here are our top 10 mistakes that new drivers make when they first get behind the wheel:
1. DISTRACTED DRIVING In today’s society, it’s fair to say that the majority of us are technology driven and it’s very easy to become distracted by this when we’re on the road. Although it’s not just this, as anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road ahead is a distraction and this can be dangerous. By taking your eyes off the road, the distraction is robbing your attention, meaning that your increasing the likelihood of an accident.
2. POOR CAR CONTROL Having good car control is something that we all learn over time with experience. The only way we really learn about how to abide by the speed limits, use lanes correctly and park safely is through practice. Driving lessons help us to understand all of these, but once we pass our test and we’re out on the road, the only way we really learn is by practice, practice, practice.
3. SPEEDING Young drivers more than any other type of drivers are the ones that do tend to speed more. Misjudging the speed and struggling to maintain it is something that young drivers can struggle with. It’s important that speed is maintained in order to keep up with the flow of traffic as driving too quickly can be hazardous but driving too slowly for traffic conditions is too. Having the ability to judge speed is something that young people will gradually develop over time with experience and the steadier you are, the more control you’ll have in the event of an incident.
4. PANICKING Something that most of us will have probably done when we got into the car for the first time on our own. First-time drivers can get a little nervous when it comes to handling situations that they haven’t come across before and that’s when the panic begins to set in. Remaining calm is the key as getting hot and flustered will only make the situation feel worse.
5. DRIVING TIRED You’ll be surprised at how much tiredness can really reflect your driving at the wheel. Driving while tired can lead to serious accidents on the road, which is why it’s so important that if you begin to feel yourself drifting and needing a short nap, it’s best to stop and have a break.
6. TAKING RISKS Risk-taking when on the road is not a good idea. You shouldn’t ignore other drivers on the road and you should constantly be aware of things happening around you. Those people that too take risks are the ones who feel confident enough to do so, but really, this could cause you an accident. If you’re feeling irritated or in an angry state of mind, then its probably not a good idea to get behind the wheel.
7. FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY The general rule of thumb is to remain at least two car lengths away from the vehicle in front of you when on the road. In doing this, it gives you some time to react to any sudden changes that may occur, which could cause you to stop or take a sudden change of direction. If following too closely and you take your eyes off the road, even just for a second, anything could happen, and you may not be able to stop quickly enough.
8. NOT CHECKING MIRRORS We’re sure your driving instructor would have told you, mirror checks are extremely important. Failure to check your mirrors while driving is one of the most common mistakes that new drivers tend to make and is one that numerous people are marked down for during their driving test. Always ensure that you’re constantly checking your mirrors so that you know when other vehicles are changing lanes around you.
9. IMPROPER BLIND SPOT CHECKS It’s not just new drivers who make this mistake as even those who are more experienced still make improper blind checks at times. When changing lanes it’s so important that we are 100% sure that it’s safe to move across as one mistake could be vital. When doing this, it’s also a good idea to check that there is nobody following behind too closely. A good way to avoid making this common mistake is to practice, lean forward in your seat and check over your shoulder.
10. FORGETTING THEIR SIGNALS The use of signals is so important when you’re on the road as it lets other drivers know your intentions. You should always try to ensure you use your signals appropriately and in a timely manner so that other drivers on the road can accommodate you, allowing you plenty of space and time to complete your maneuver.