It’s an unhappy fact, but according to Think! as many as one in five new drivers crash their car within the first year of passing their test. The reasons for this are many and varied. But they include over-confidence, poor concentration, lack of awareness, and – too often – showing off in front of friends. And many of these accidents have catastrophic consequences. It all seems such a waste.
You put in so much effort as a learner driver. Driving lessons take time, effort, stress, and, of course, money. So, how can you make sure that you don’t make a mockery of all that, and avoid becoming one of the statistics?
5 Tips for Staying Safe on the Road After You’ve Passed Your Driving Test
1. Avoid potential distractions
It sounds patronising, but it’s an unavoidable fact that younger people are easily distracted. Whether it’s your sound system, your phone, your satnav, or your passengers. If you have something in your car that may demand your attention, you are more likely to be distracted from the task of driving. That’s why, in the first few years behind the wheel, it can be a good idea to not invite friends to travel with you. If you need a sat nav, set it before you leave and do not be tempted to adjust the settings while driving. Turn your phone off – or at least onto Do Not Disturb – before you set out. Leave your radio alone. And do not eat or drink in the car.
2. Remember other drivers
One of the difficulties when becoming more confident in your own driving ability is that it’s easy to forget that other drivers aren’t always predictable. So, you might feel confident overtaking that HGV on that piece of road. But don’t forget to check, and double-check, that the blue car behind you isn’t intending to do the same.
3. Do not take substances and drive
Whether alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that may impair your judgement or reaction times. Driving while under the influence of anything isn’t just stupid. It can cost you money, your licence, your liberty, your life, and the lives of other people. Even a small amount that feels safe can have devastating consequences. The sensible thing is to just not do it. And if you want to do it, do not drive.
Driving is one of those things that gets better with experience. And there’s no simple way to overcome that. According to ROSPA, it takes around 1,000 miles of solo driving for your hazard perception skills to come up to speed. So, going for quiet drives, without passengers or distractions, can be a good way to gently bed in those skills. If you’re at all anxious or think you might be doing something wrong, most driving instructors will be more than happy to sit in on extra lessons after your test. Just get in touch for a chat.
5. Don’t drive tired
Tiredness impacts pretty much everything that we do. If we’re tired, we can’t concentrate as well. We can’t make decisions as easily. We react more slowly. And when we’re tired, we tend to be more emotional. None of these things make for a safe driving experience. As for falling asleep at the wheel, the associated dangers speak for themselves.
Driving safely isn’t hard. And it’s important to remember that sometimes, accidents happen, and they simply aren’t your fault. But, by being aware of the risks and taking precautions against them, you can help make your post-test driving experience as safe as it possibly can be.
Are you looking for driving lessons in the West Midlands area? Get in touch with DGN today.