So, you’ve passed your test and technically, that means you’re on your own. You have the ability to get in your car and drive to your hearts content. But, that doesn’t mean you should. Studies have shown that a huge percentage of new drivers are still unprepared for what they could encounter on the roads. The reason that new driver insurance can be so high is because new drivers are far more likely to be in a road traffic accident than experienced drivers. So, what can you do to make sure you’re safe on the road?
Train for longer
Your driving test only requires you to demonstrate certain skills. You aren’t asked to drive for long periods of time, and you’re rarely asked to drive in unfamiliar territory or large city traffic. If you find yourself still confused about where you should be on the road or you panic in heavy traffic, you may benefit from further training. You can enrol in courses, like Pass Plus, or ask a family member or friend with more experience of driving to accompany you in the car while you explore new places. Driving to new places will seem daunting at first, but the more practice you have, the better driver you’ll become.
Play with your car
Many new drivers are gifted with new cars, but don’t take the time to figure them out. It’s understandable because a new car is exciting and all you want to do is drive it. But, to be as safe on the road as possible, you need to explore the car before going anywhere. Start the engine, push some buttons, get comfortable. That way, when you need one of the cars functions, you won’t have to distract yourself figuring it out while driving.
Do your checks
Before setting off on a journey, it’s important to do a few checks. The first is before you even get in the car. You need to walk around the car and check for low or punctured tyres or any leakages from underneath the car. You can check your tyres with tyre pressure monitoring systems. Secondly, once you’re in the car, check for any warning lights, like low oil or low petrol. It sounds simple, but many new drivers have had to be rescued simply because they’d forgotten to put petrol in. Thirdly, make sure your mirrors are positioned at the right angle, so you don’t have to struggle to see.
Drive in bad weather
Driving in bad weather is a lot different to driving normally. Your vision may be compromised, the road may get slippery and you’ll have to manage your car differently. It’s important for new drivers to have experience of driving in bad weather, so they aren’t caught out later on. If you’re hit by spells of heavy rain or sleet, get out in your car and build some experience of driving in different conditions. Stay close to home at first so you know the roads. Whatever you do, don’t avoid driving in bad weather completely.
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