There is nothing more exciting than getting your driver’s license, right? While this is a very important step in every person’s life, you should also understand that the license comes with a huge responsibility.
Sadly, many new drivers (especially the young ones) seem to forget that life is a bit difficult to predict and modern cars provide a false sense of security. As a result, many newbies make the following most common mistakes:
#1: Predicting the Road
There are many confusing situations in a driver’s life, and some are even misleading for experienced people. So, as a new driver, it’s very important to practice caution when you are on the road. However, since most people get their license when they’re teenagers, it’s difficult to preach caution and have them actually employ it.
This is why stupid accidents happen by failing to correctly interpret a sign or by forgetting that roads can get slippery when temperatures start to drop. Not to mention, there are areas where the road is barely regulated but many new drivers feel it’s OK to speed up.
The number one mistake a new driver can make is forgetting the world is unpredictable.
#2: Estimating Speed
It takes a while for your brain to understand the change of speed, regardless of the fact that you are used to the idea since you’ve probably been a passenger in a car before. However, when you’re the one driving, you have to learn how to estimate speed, and here is where most new drivers fail.
Some instructors will test you by covering the speedometer and have you appreciate the speed. When this test is done with an experienced driver, they usually have no difficulty in estimating the correct speed. But when it’s done with a newbie, most of them are off by 10 to 15 km/h. This is one of the reason why some organisations support the idea that learning how to drive should be at least a one-year long experience.
So, before you get engaged in an overtake, make sure you understand how speed relates to space.
A newbie will almost always enter the parking spot nose-first, without thinking about the way they will leave. They’re also most likely to get the very first spot they find open, again, with no regard to the way they will leave.
This aspect is important because over 30% of crashes happen in parking lots, at relatively low speeds.
#4: Investing too Much too Early
It’s absolutely natural to want everyone else to know your car is awesome, and personalised number plates are one of the best ways to do so. But many of the cool combinations are already taken and their owners know their worth. So, unless you’re prepared to pay big money, that witty combination may never be yours!
But as a new driver that’s OK. In the heat of the moment and in your desire to have everyone admire your driving skills, you may invest in something you’ll regret later. Take your time and browse regularly to find the perfect accessory or piece of equipment.
#5: Getting an Expensive Car
Your first vehicle will be subject to bad driving decisions, lag in reaction time, and misguided road conduct. So, unless you have the money for two really cool cars, it’s best to wait before buying that vehicle you dream about for months.
Your first car as a new driver should be the transition car. After all, no one comes out of driving school ready to take the road! Yes, you know the rules and are capable of navigating a vehicle through traffic without bumping into everyone else on the road. But do you know when it’s the optimal time to shift gears? Or, do you know how to protect the car from any mechanical malfunction due to bad driving practices?
Being a good driver takes time and finesse and it’s best to make a few long trips with your transition car before you learn how to tame a powerful vehicle. Be patient and practice, and your dream car will be waiting for you!