Staying safe on the roads as a new driver
Getting on the road for the first time unaccompanied is a brilliant feeling but can be nerve wracking which may lead to greater risk of collisions. Here are a few things to be aware of as a new driver to ensure that your journeys are as safe as possible.
Practice defensive driving
The excitement of passing your driving test may mean that you want to get out onto the motorway to drive on the fastest roads. However, if you are not taking the proper precautions, you may find yourself in danger of a collision. As any driver knows, wearing your seatbelt is one of the easiest ways to stay safe and reduces serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, and deaths from collisions by 50%.
Defensive driving is a style of driving that aids to keep you and everyone else on the road safe. There are many defensive driving courses that you can take which teach students how to recognise and respond to the driving behaviours of others while minimising the risk of injury. Some key defensive driving tactics include keeping your distance, driving at an appropriate speed and being aware of your surroundings.
If you do get into an accident and suffer a head injury but weren’t taking the necessary precautions, it may affect your ability to make a successful claim through brain injury solicitors.
It is vital to avoid all distractions while driving so that you can pay attention to what is happening outside of your vehicle. Potential distractions include getting caught up in conversation with your passengers, fiddling with the car radio and checking your phone.
In the UK it is illegal to use a hand-held phone or device while you are driving, however, studies have shown that more than half of young drivers cannot bring themselves to turn their mobiles off before driving. Since 2011, the number of by 24% so it is key to keep your phone out of sight to reduce the temptation of checking it.
Take care when driving at night
While there are generally fewer cars on the road at night, you should still be aware of your speed if you are to drive safely. In many areas, you will find that there is poor lighting which will result in you needing to drive more cautiously. If you are a new driver you should try to plan ahead as much as possible to avoid driving late if you don’t need to.
If you do begin to feel tired during your journey, whether at night or during the day, you must find a safe place to stop. Service stations are a suitable place for this as you can grab a snack or caffeinated drink which can help to wake you up. Inexperienced drivers will tire more quickly than experienced drivers as they will expend more energy in terms of concentration and are more likely to feel stressed while driving.