Being a new driver can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You finally have the freedom to drive wherever you want without anyone sitting in the passenger seat who is examining or instructing you. Of course, this also means that you’re in full control now, and it can be hard to adjust to that. You have to take extra care to drive safely and cautiously because you won’t have input from anybody else (unless your friends and family members are backseat drivers). Still, confidence comes with experience. The more you drive, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities. However, it’s important that you take the following safety pointers on board to make sure that you’re driving responsibly.
Always drive defensively.
The best way to stay safe on the road is to drive defensively. It’s for your own safety as well as the safety of others. You’re most likely going to spot other drivers doing careless things such as turning at junctions without indicating, talking on their phones, or even putting makeup on in the mirror. It’s important that you keep a cool head in such situations because responding to such situations angrily will only impede your own ability to drive safely. The best way to avoid incidents on the road is to take the defensive approach. Always leave a 2-second gap between your car and the car in front so that you have time to brake. And make sure you pay careful attention to any driver who appears distracted; if they’re not aware of their surroundings then you need to give them space so as to avoid an accident. You could even take a course to improve your defensive skills.
Of course, accidents can happen to even the most experienced or cautious drivers. It might be a lapse of concentration on your part, reckless behaviour from another driver, or a mixture of the blame on both drivers. Perhaps you’ve already had an incident, whether it was a minor bump into another car or a more serious incident. You might want to look into an injury lawyer if you’ve hurt yourself and you feel that the incident wasn’t your fault. It’s important that you get compensation for situations that aren’t your fault. But remember to always take the defensive approach to try to avoid altercations with drivers who perhaps aren’t paying attention to the road or who might be manoeuvring unsafely.
Maintain your vehicle.
Another crucial way in which you can be a safer driver is to maintain your vehicle effectively. Being able to drive well is important to staying safe on the road, but you could be putting yourself and other drivers at risk if your car is in bad shape and it unexpectedly breaks down or experiences some sort of fault in the middle of a busy road. Self-maintenance is something that you may not have been taught in your driving lessons, but it’s something that every car owner needs to know. Remember to check the oil levels of your car frequently and ensure that oil or air filters aren’t blocked. You also need to check your tyre pressure frequently to ensure that your car is roadworthy. Of course, getting your vehicle serviced on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that it’s well maintained and safe to drive on the road.
Don’t be distracted.
We talked earlier about paying close attention to careless drivers so as to avoid the possibility of potential hazards becoming actual hazards. However, it’s also important that you avoid becoming the cause of dangerous situations. Good drivers can become bad drivers very quickly if they let themselves be distracted. Obviously, you shouldn’t look at your phone in the car – that’s an obvious piece of advice. It’s for the safety of others as well as yourself. You also need to make sure that nothing in the car is affecting your concentration. If the music is too loud then turn it down. If passengers are too loud then ask them politely to let you concentrate. Avoiding distractions is crucial to being a safe driver.
Watch the speed limit.
This final piece of advice is the most basic, but it’s possibly one of the most important rules of road safety. Watching the speed limit is crucial to keep yourself and others safe on the road. The limits on each road have been chosen for a reason, and it’s often in response to accidents that are caused by people driving excessively fast. Maybe you give yourself excuses that it’s fine to speed on straight stretches of road or it’s fine to speed if you’re trying to get through the amber light before it turns red. However, you never know if another car is going to suddenly pull out or if a pedestrian is going to walk across the road. Take the speed limit seriously.