Driving a car is a big responsibility. As easy as it looks, the prospect of driving one for the first time is a daunting one. New drivers can become flustered and make mistakes. Even if they don’t become flustered easily, their lack of experience on the roads can still cause them to commit the same infractions many drivers do when they’ve not been driving for long. Below is a look at the importance of obeying the rules of the road, at some of the most common mistakes first-time drivers make, and ways to avoid making these mistakes.
The importance of abiding by traffic laws and rules
Traffic laws are important because they keep people safe, and the safety of all motorists depends on them all following the rules. When a motorist breaks the rules, it can cause accidents and even fatalities.
Unfortunately, laws, fines and penalties still don’t discourage some people from dangerous driving, either because the law-breaking motorist has no respect for the rules or because they’re not paying attention.
Common mistakes new drivers make and how to avoid them
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re still getting used to the roads. Here are some common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them:
Driving too close to the car in front
When driving behind another car, you should always leave a meter of space between them and you. This gives you always enough space to overtake them if they become immobile. The space also enables you to move up if a car is approaching you from behind but is coming up too fast.
Playing music too loud
A good tune comes on the radio and your natural instinct is to turn up the volume. Listening to music in the car is enjoyable, but it can affect your focus on the road. Not only that, but the music can also mask the sound of your engine, which makes it harder to judge your speed. If you’re going for a drive in the country, keep the radio off.
Not using turn signals
Your turn signals indicate what you’re about to do on the road, whether that’s reversing, merging into another lane, turning, parking or driving out of a parking spot. Use your turn signals whenever you’re about to perform a maneuver that requires extra space. Some drivers won’t allow you this space, so be patient, let them pass and then carry out the maneuver when they’ve passed.
Not checking your tires
Your tires are incredibly important, but not checking them is a mistake many drivers, not just new ones, make. Tire makers recommend checking your tire pressure and the depth of your tread once per month. If you’re not sure, take your vehicle to an expert. You may even just need new tires. If this is the case, you should consider high-quality wheel brands such as Vogue or Radar to ensure you’re getting the best tires on the market.
Distracted driving means not paying attention to the road. Texting or talking on your cell phone while you’re driving are things you should avoid at all costs. Once you become a more skillful driver, you may wish to set up a hands-free option in your vehicle.
Speeding is plain reckless and no way to travel on the roads or through traffic lights. It could cause serious injuries… fatal even, due to speed-related crashes. How to avoid it? The answer is simple: watch your speed. Some vehicles even advise you when you’re driving faster than a certain speed.
Inadequate blind spot checking
When you decide to change lanes, you must be sure your blind spot is clear. You can learn how to do this in your driving lessons. To check your blind spot is clear, check your side view mirror while leaning forward. If you have a small car, look over your shoulder.
As a new driver, it’s easy to make mistakes. Be aware of the errors above and follow the steps recommended so you can drive more safely on the roads.