If you are a new driver, or you know somebody that has recently passed their test, then this guide is perfect for you.
These tips are designed to give new drivers the best chance of staying safe on the road while saving money where possible.
10 New Driver Tips
1. The Black Box
Insurance is a huge expense for new drivers as they have a higher statistical chance of suffering an accident. However, there is a way to reduce the price of a new driver's insurance while also reducing the risk of accident.
The Black Box is a small device which records speed, distance travelled, the time of day and driving style. The box relays this information back to the insurance company meaning the driver has a very good reason not to speed or drive dangerously.
A black box may be the best way to keep your driving in check while saving money so make sure to do some research.
A number of insurance companies have also introduced policies which use your smartphone to track the same kind of data as a blackbox.
2. Driving on the Phone
Young drivers are the worst offenders for using mobile phones while driving.
This is extremely worrying as one in four car accidents are caused when a driver is using a mobile at the wheel. The Department for Transport said that of the 88 deaths caused by distractions in 2012, 17 were due to mobile use, a higher death rate than any other in-car distraction.
The best way to avoid the temptation is to put the phone well out of reach as soon as you get in the car, removing the risk of picking it up completely.
3. Late Night Driving
If a new driver learns the ropes during the summer months, it will be highly unlikely that any night driving will be completed, meaning a test can be passed without a driver having ever been out at night!
If you or a new driver you know hasn’t been out on the road at night, make sure to practice before undertaking a journey as a lot of things can change in the darkness.
Visibility is obviously reduced and tiredness is a much bigger factor so it’s essential that a new driver feels comfortable on the road at night.
4. Understanding Your Car and Your Limits
If a new driver has learnt how to drive with an instructor, it will be highly unlikely that their first car will be the same model.
Every car is different so it’s vital that a new driver is comfortable in their own car before driving independently full time.
Practising with an experienced driver or instructor in the new drivers own car, will prove to be incredibly beneficial.
Braking sensitivity and acceleration are two variables, of many, which could prove to be the difference in a dangerous situation if a driver is not used to their vehicle.
The driver handbook is also extremely useful as all of the buttons and functions of the car are detailed.
5. Fuel Consumption
Fuel is a big expense for young people to manage but there are ways of driving efficiently which reduces consumption and helps your car stay healthy.
Cut back on journeys! It’s the most obvious yet simplest way to save fuel.
Slow down and drive sensibly by anticipating and reading the road ahead.
Braking and accelerating only when necessary will save fuel considerably.
Reduce the weight in your car by removing unnecessary items.
Get your car serviced regularly as this will ensure your engine is efficiently maintained and fuel consumption is kept at optimal levels.
6. Use P Plates to Your Advantage
Having the P stickers on a new driver’s car will allow other drivers to know they are new to driving and may be nervous or susceptible to mistakes. People will have more patience with drivers with P plates so make sure to use to your advantage.
7. Motorway Driving
Unless a new driver has undertaken their Advance Driving Course, they won’t have ever driven on a motorway.
If you are an experienced driver, the following tips may be obvious but for a new driver they are essential to know.
Stay in the left hand lane and only use the middle and right hand lane to overtake. Driving at the limit in the middle lane is seen as lane hogging and this can irritate other road users so make sure to keep left, you should also only ever use the right hand lane to overtake.
It’s essential to make good use of your mirrors as there are cars moving at extremely high speeds at all times on the motorway.
Try to keep a good distance between cars in front whatever the weather but especially in difficult conditions including rain and wind. This will reduce the risk of an accident occurring and ensure you and others feel safe driving.
Lastly, stay calm in the situation. If you ever feel panicked, pull over at a service station as soon as you can and take some time to calm down and compose yourself.
8. Correct Footwear
There is a reason driving barefoot and in flip flops is illegal.
Wearing appropriate footwear is key to safe driving so ensure you have suitable shoes when driving.
Specially designed driving shoes are the most comfortable and safe to drive in and can be purchased from a range of high street outlets.
In bad weather conditions the risk of your feet slipping off the pedals is hugely underestimated so sturdy shoes are your best bet.
9. Confidence on the Road
A new driver must understand that they have as much of a right on the road as every other vehicle.
Feeling pressured by other drivers to speed up or drive out of a junction at the wrong time, is common so don’t pay any attention to it.
Take your time and stick to the rules of the road. Don’t allow others to knock your confidence as you must remain in control at all times.
10. Managing Long Journeys
For your first long distance journey make sure you have everything you need.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in your car for a long period of time and becoming extremely thirsty or hungry. If your car is warm there is a potential hazard of becoming sleepy which is extremely dangerous, so ensure that one of your windows is open slightly to keep air circulating.
If you are a new driver or know somebody who has recently passed their test, why not get quotes for their first MOT or Service from a range of local garages!?
Post an MOT or Service job and receive quotes today!