9 Things Worth Knowing When You're A New Driver


Driving tests in the UK are not easy to pass and most of our roads were not built for the heavy traffic that congests them nowadays, particularly in built-up areas. It means that driving test you will go through reflects that. However, there are a few things you should know that your driving test can’t prepare you for. In today’s guide, we’re going to go through nine things you need to know as a new driver - read on to find out more.

#1 Your insurance will be high

The first thing you will do when you pass your test is to get your insurance cover. It will be expensive as you are more of a risk on the roads when you are a new driver with no experience. It’s up to you to prove how well you can drive - and that means having no accidents and making no claims. You could try putting in telematics trackers to show your insurance company that you can drive well. However, these will take a while to affect your premiums, so it’s going to be a while before you can enjoy cheaper insurance.

#2 Remove distractions

There are a lot of distractions to think about when you are driving on your own for the first time. Your first temptation is to whack the music up full blast and take yourself out for a spin, of course. But, loud music can often lead to more distractions - and more likelihood of having an accident.

Driving your friends around can also be distracting - especially when you don’t have much experience. The worst offender for distractions is mobile phones. It is an offence to drive whilst talking or texting or your mobile phone. You will have to use a hands-free kit if you want to take calls. Just be aware that any time you reach over and press a button, you run the risk of having an accident.

#3 Pull over when asked

As a young driver, you are more likely to be stopped by the police - it’s just something that you will have to expect. Just pull over, roll down the window and wait for the officer to approach you. Do what they say, and never argue as that is likely to inflate the situation - leave it for the court if you decide to challenge a decision.

#4 There will be rain, snow, and wind

Different seasons mean adapting your driving skills to suit. Unless you have taken a long time to pass your test, it’s unlikely you will have experienced driving in all conditions. But, you need to be careful out there. Poor driving conditions mean you have to slow down - and leave more space between you and the car in front.

You might want to take an advanced driving course to learn how to handle skids and hydroplaning. It can be a scary experience sitting behind the wheel when you can’t see much in front of you due to rain or fog.

#5 Know your blind spots

Blind spots can kill, so make sure you are aware of the points in your mirrors that you can’t see - and stay aware of what’s going on around you. This is particularly the case when overtaking or turning. According to Dolman Law Group, in the USA turning left is one of the biggest issues for drivers. It is one of the leading causes of accidents involving motorcyclists and cyclists. You just won’t see them if they are in your blind spot. Make sure you are always checking mirrors, so you are aware of any smaller vehicles coming close to you.

#6 Not all mechanics offer great value

One of the best things you can do when you learn to drive is to find a trustworthy mechanic. They can be worth their weight in gold over the years, and will save you money in the long-term. However, you have to choose the right firm to do business with. There are many mechanics out there that will take advantage of your inexperience, unfortunately. Your best bet is to ask around friends and family and get some recommendations. And, always bring someone who knows how cars work when you need any work done.

#7 Don’t drink and drive

It seems an obvious point to make, but don’t drink and drive. It doesn’t take a lot to make you think you will be fine - even though most new drivers start out with good intentions. You might feel OK to drive after a beer - and that could become two. Before you know it, you will be driving under the influence, and you will be putting yourself and other people in dangerous situations. Just avoid drinking completely if possible - and try a personal breathalyzer for those times when you aren’t sure if you are under the limit.

#8 Avoid road rage

Having a car accident is dangerous enough - don’t exacerbate the situation by flying into a rage. People will offend you - and it’s vital that you don’t react. Learn to develop a thick skin. A minor accident with no real damage done could turn into a life-threatening situation if both parties inflame the incident with road rage. Just try to keep calm, take a deep breath, and forget about it. If you make another driver angry with your driving, just back off safely and try taking another route if necessary.

#9 Dealing with accidents

You are likely to have an accident at some point. And, if there are no serious injuries, it’s important to know what to do in the event. Pull over, if it is safe to do so, then turn on your hazard lights. Call the police and speak to the other driver. However, you only need to exchange insurance information with them - nothing else. Never get drawn into discussing the accident or talking about who was at fault. Take pictures if you have to, and try and gather as much information as you can.

Stay safe on the roads out there!

Image source: fo.ol / Flickr - Licensed for reuse under Creative Commons 2.0
9 Things Worth Knowing When You're A New Driver 9 Things Worth Knowing When You're A New Driver Reviewed by Hayley Reeve on Tuesday, April 05, 2016 Rating: 5

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