Life as a new driver can be tough. If you’ve just passed your test or taken some driving lessons, you may be facing the reality of costly insurance premiums and trying to find the ideal first car. Safety is bound to be something else that is concerning you. If you’ve only ever driven with an instructor or friend, the idea of getting behind the wheel alone can be terrifying.
When we learn to drive, we often do it on quieter roads, or in sheltered situations. When you go out on the road alone, everything changes. Suddenly your safety net has gone, and the risks seem to be everywhere.
As a new driver, the risks are greater. That’s why the insurance premiums are higher. As someone with less experience, you aren’t as prepared, or as able to make decisions quickly. Your defensive driving skills may be weak or untested, and you might not even be fully aware of the risks that you face on the open road. Here’s a look at some things that you can do to stay safe as a new driver.
Be Aware of All of the Risks
Cars and other drivers might be the only risks that you’ve come across up until this point. But, larger vehicles can pose different risks. The dangers of dump and garbage trucks are different. These high sided vehicles, as well as others like them, have larger blind spots, they need more space on the road, and they may need more time to corner and break.
The weather and different conditions can also change the risks that you face. Be aware of all of the dangers that you face, and you’ll soon become better at spotting and avoiding them.
Take Your Time
As a new driver, your reflexes are bound to be slower. To compensate, give yourself more time on the road. Leave extra time for journeys so that you don’t have to rush, and once on the road, give yourself plenty of time and space by staying well clear of other vehicles.
You may be used to more experienced drivers chatting or listening to music as they drive. As a new driver, you should try only to focus on the road. Avoid other distractions as much as possible.
It’s easy to get angry on the road, especially when other drivers put us at risk. But, anger is a distraction. When we are angry, it’s harder to focus and easier to make poor decisions. Try to keep calm, even if that means pulling over as soon as you safely can, and taking some deep breaths.
Don’t Drive When Tired or Unwell
One of the greatest dangers on the road is tiredness. Avoid driving if you are tired, or feeling unwell, or if you are taking medications that could compromise your judgment or reflexes.
Planning routes, finding rest stops, preparing for the weather, and any specific roads that you may drive on is a great idea while you are learning. Use an online maps service to help.
Driving can be great fun, and not as dangerous as you may at first think. With experience, you’ll soon be far more comfortable and confident on the road, just take your time getting there.