Although you may be excited to get on the road and try out your new skill, it is common for new drivers to be nervous when trying to remember the ropes and all the right ways of doing things. So, to help make you feel as comfortable as possible in your new motor, we’ve put together some useful tips to keep in mind on your way around town.
1) Keep Your Mirrors Off the Car
Though this may not be as obvious as other troublemakers, not having your side mirrors on the road makes it easier for you to cause a crash. Essentially, if your side mirrors – or wing mirrors – are facing towards your vehicle, they are not going to be able to do their job properly and you may end up driving into another car that is heading in the same direction. To avoid this happening, adjust your mirrors to a position that allows you a clear view of the road behind and to the side of your car while you are sat in the driver’s seat (upfront). You may not always have occupants in the car with you, so it’s important that your mirrors are directed towards the traffic behind you.
2) Pay Close Attention to the Traffic
I know it can be difficult to gauge what the road signs are telling you while trying to monitor the traffic at the same time, however, you must keep your eyes on the road. While your car is on the move, taking your attention off the other cars can lead to a series of accidents, which is the last thing you’d want (or need!) as a new driver. Everybody understands that road signs are distracting and most of the time, show up when you least expect them to.
3) Listening to the Radio Makes Your Driving Worse
Many people claim that music helps clear the mind and encourages you to focus on one thing, but in a moving vehicle, it’s a completely different scenario. In fact, you should try to leave your radio switched off or turned down low as a new driver, after all, you are still getting used to busy roads. A car radio also comes with numerous different buttons and volume settings, which can be distracting and cause you to take your attention off the road – don’t! Keep focused!
4) Aim to Have Your Headlights on As Often as You Can
Research has proven that having your car’s headlights switched on, even in the broad daylight, can reduce the risk of accidents on the road. And while you may consider this a myth, it really isn’t. Drivers tend to notice and pinpoint other motorists who have their headlights switched on and think ‘what an idiot’, but at least they were noticed and probably by several others too. People may flash to let you know they are switched on, but take no notice of them, unless you don’t want them on.
5) Use Your Handbrake Regularly
Did you know that your handbrake will break if you don’t use it very often? I bet you didn’t. Now, I don’t know your personal habits or how you drive around, but your handbrake is vital when parking up your car. Before you get out of the car and before you take the key out of the ignition, make sure you pull the handbrake up because if you don’t, your car could end up rolling to who knows where.