Now that you have successfully cleared your driving test and ready to take on the roads, be informed that this is when the real test will begin. Owing to the number of lives lost in road accidents every year in the UK, it is imperative for the new drivers to practice absolute concentration and caution while driving. If you fall in the category of new drivers and especially young, your quick reactions and dexterity allows you to act much swifter than other drivers in managing the controls of your vehicle, therefore it is your duty to make the roads safer for yourself as well as your fellow drivers.
Here we have listed the most common tips for new drivers after clearing your driving test.
Practice defensive driving
Defensive driving involves training or practicing driving in such a manner that the associated dangers of driving are consciously reduced. If you start practicing this from an early age, you can appropriately identify potential road hazards, learn to control your emotions and increase your awareness of your surroundings while you drive. You can become one of the most defensive new drivers by rigorously following the below steps:
- Adhere to the prescribed speed limits.
- Slow down when you drive at odd times of the day or in inclement weather conditions.
- Look at the front and rear view mirrors frequently.
- Leave space between the vehicles ahead, behind and alongside yours.
- Keep an eye on the pedestrians.
- Adhere to the road signals.
- Always to be prepared for the worst.
Watch out for Pedestrian and Railway crossings
About 20% of the total road accidents in the UK happen either at or near pedestrian crossings. Pedestrian crossings are always crowded and therefore extremely sensitive areas to drive for new drivers therefore you have to practice additional perseverance and caution at these places. Also when you drive past school buildings, keep an eye for children as they often fail to judge how far or near your vehicle is.
Similarly, when you approach a railway crossing, look both ways before crossing the tracks. If you can see the train approaching, wait for it to pass. Never race with a train to take the crossing. Refrain from shifting gears.
Keep your mobile phone away
According to the latest statistics, over 27000 drivers were prosecuted on the charge of using their mobile phones while driving and the UK Government has stated that out of 10 million drivers who take the UK roads on a daily basis, 1% of them use mobile phones while they drive which means that at any point in time, 100000 drivers are risking their and their fellow drivers’ lives to road accidents. Irrespective of whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, it is illegal for you to use your mobile phone as long as you are driving, even if you are stuck at a signal. If you make fairly long distant journeys, you can install a hands free device in your car which is legal by law.
Driving versus drinking and drug abuse
Numerous new drivers feel that one drink will not do any harm. However, did you know that even a peg of alcohol interferes with your ability to judge distances and speed and impairs your reflexes. Refrain from showing off your driving skills to your friends especially when you are drunk as if you are caught on the roads for a breath test and found guilty, you could lose your driving license and incur an exorbitant penalty.
Understanding the road signs
As new drivers, you need to pay special attention to understanding the various road signs such as danger warning, prohibitive, mandatory and priority, direction or indication and information or service signs. There are hundreds of road signs on the UK roads. It is imperative to familiarize yourself with these signs to ensure that you have a safe and trouble free driving.
Wearing seat belts
Seat belts greatly increase your chance of surviving a car crash. In the UK, more than 2000 lives are saved each year owing to seat belts. Sometimes new drivers forget to clasp their seat belt however, please be informed that this is required by law and failure to secure your seat belts is a punishable offence. Seat belts should be properly worn for optimum safety i.e. the shoulder belt should be fastened close to the body, across the arm and over the shoulder. The lap belt should hold your stomach and not loosely hang against your hips. Also, if you have a child travelling with you in the car, it is mandatory to fasten child restrains before you begin your journey.
Driving in bad weather
It is advisable for new drivers to refrain from hitting the roads if it is raining or snowing heavily as there are high chances of the car getting out of control and skidding on the wet roads. Similarly, foggy roads are the motorist’s worst enemy. It impairs the driver’s vision of the road ahead and thus, he or she is unable to view the road and the approaching vehicles ahead until the last moment. You can wait until the fog is cleared before you begin driving however if it is absolute necessary for you to begin the journey, always switch on your rear fog lamps and drive slowly so that you have complete control on the vehicle.
Refrain from becoming an aggressive driver
Aggressive driving is the inability to manage one’s own anger responses to a fellow driver’s wrong actions. It builds stress and complex in the minds of the drivers leading them to infringing road rules and taking off after the particular vehicle. Aggressive driving can lead to fatal road accidents and the feeling of guilt later will not curb the damage already done. Therefore from the beginning itself, new drivers should practice the art of being in complete control of one’s anger and emotions and not let the lives of one’s own and other people’s into danger because of the flimsiness of a few moments.
Thus, following the above tips will ensure that the new drivers are effectively able to promote a safe driving culture on the roads of UK.