Mistakes to avoid for new drivers
Receiving your licence is a wonderful occasion, as is starting the journey of learning how to drive. Driving brings an incredible freedom to our lives so it’s very right that people should be excited by the project. Driving does, however, arrive with massive responsibility and if you don’t take care and remember the wisdom of those responsible for teaching you, dangerous errors can be made. In this article, we wanted to collect a handful of top tips for both those beginning to learn, as well as those who are newly licenced, to help you avoid these common errors. We’ve reached out to some experts in the field and hopefully their wisdom will allow you to enjoy this exciting time while also staying safe on the road.
Not exercising caution
You will surely be feeling great after passing your test and even better after purchasing your first vehicle from a Ford car dealership. But we can’t overstress the importance of exercising caution and taking your time especially when you’re still so new to the road. From not driving too fast to making smart decisions at busy junctions, being rash on the road is a vital mistake to avoid. It may seem obvious that speeding, for example, should be avoided at all cost but speed control can take a while to master so it’s always worth reiterating as a mistake to avoid. Dana, of the car blog and news site CarzTune, spoke to us a little about this subject and why it’s so important: “I think that high-speed driving can be a reckless habit that puts the driver and the other drivers on the road in seriously vulnerable positions, so this is the most common mistake those new drivers should avoid!”
The other important piece of advice that Dana recommends is aimed at those who have just passed their driving test but is also something that should be remembered by drivers of all levels of experience: “Distractions come in many kinds on the road. The distractions can cause you to not see a vehicle in front braking (and therefore you run into the back of it), or you might misread a corner, or fail to stop at an intersection. So, if you just passed your test, or even if you are an expert, you should pay attention only to the road!”
Paul Hadley, from the car news and reviews website Motor Verso, believes that avoiding distractions is the most important thing to remember for new drivers: “For me, I think the most common mistake that new drivers should look to avoid whilst driving is distractions. We have so many things that can distract us. This could be obvious ones such as mobile phones, the car radio or talking to passengers. Or less obvious like looking for a parking place or travelling through areas with lots of pedestrians. We should always be focused on the driving first, everything else comes second.”
For those who have recently passed their test, it’s easy to get carried away and think that you’re now king of the road, forgetting the most important rules you were taught when learning how to drive. This, of course, should be avoided at all costs, no matter how experienced you are, you should remember the fundamental rules of driving and not let your new found freedom make you overconfident.
On this very topic, Paul of Motor Verso told us: “When you have just passed your test, most people think they have learned all they need to know about driving. But the fact is, the next 3-4 years when you are driving daily is where the real learning will happen. I would encourage all new drivers to be very conscious not to get overconfident and continue to drive at safe speeds and within yourself.”
This is a sentiment shared by Marcus Web of the aptly named car news website, Ultimate Car Blog, who spoke to us about how newly-qualified drivers forgetting the fundamentals is a must-avoid mistake: “Two most common mistakes are breaking the speed limit allowed by law and not keeping both hands on the wheel, a big mistake considering they are new to driving. New drivers forget to drive safer during the first year and, unfortunately, this is the main reason there are many teen driving car accidents.”
Not knowing your route
When you’re new to the road it’s important to be as prepared as possible, taking the element of surprise out of the equation as much as you can. This is why planning ahead and knowing your route will be tremendously helpful. If you just hop in your car and hope you’ll find your way to a destination that you are unfamiliar with, you’ll spend less time thinking about driving and more time worrying where you are going. This should be avoided if at all possible. By taking the time to do the requisite research beforehand, finding out which route you need to take, and how long it will take to get there, you’ll refrain from rushing and reduce the risk of accidents. Even seasoned drivers who are lost on the road can make mistakes trying to figure out which turning to take and end up in very undesirable predicaments.
Driving when tired
A very common mistake made by new drivers is driving when tired. It goes without saying that when you’re sleepy, your senses are dulled and reaction time will be reduced. This is a bad combination while behind the wheel of a car and should be avoided. New drivers might not have the experience needed to know when they are too tired to drive so it’s a smart move to take the cautious approach and only get on the road when you know that you are thinking clearly and have had plenty of sleep. It might be tempting to pop out late at night to grab a meal or meet a friend, but if you’re feeling sleepy when at home, operating a vehicle won’t make things any better. Also, if you’re already on the road and are feeling tired, opening the window is only a temporary measure. Instead, find somewhere to pull over and have a 10 – 15-minute nap.
How to avoid common driving mistakes
The above-listed mistakes are common ones to make, even by seasoned drivers, so if you are beginning you’re driving journey, you would certainly do well to consider what has been discussed here. Some may seem rather obvious but those who are regularly on the road will be able to tell you that many people fall prey to these mistakes. Safety comes first after all. Driving is incredibly liberating and should be enjoyed so allow yourself to enjoy it, avoid the above, and hit the road with care and consideration.