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5 Mistakes A New Driver Should Avoid

Being a new driver means learning more than just how to control the vehicle. This one is fairly easy from a mechanical standpoint. What’s more difficult is learning how to avoid risky behavior, how to access roadside conditions, and anticipate the mistakes of other drivers. While all of this may sound like a bit too much, the truth is that all of these skills are essential for you to learn how to drive completely safely. So, in order to help you out, here are the top five mistakes that a new driver should avoid in order to stay safe at all times.

1.      Sitting in a new car without preparation

Different cars drive differently. Sitting in a new car can make a massive difference and it will take even a seasoned driver some time to get accustomed. This goes beyond just setting up your seat and mirrors, it’s about the responsiveness of the pedals and the power of the car.

Keep in mind that, as a learner, chances are that you’ve only driven a single car so far. Therefore, it might take you a bit more to get a feel of the new car.

The truth is that every car has its blind spots. Regardless of how brilliantly placed your rearview mirror is, you just can’t see everything. Now, in a car that you’re familiar with, it’s easy to know where your blind spots are and then be extra careful when driving.

2.      Lower road awareness

The next thing you need to think of is the overall road awareness. There are some things that you are told by your driving instructor that you do without thinking twice, however, when it comes to making your own judgment, it might turn out to be a bit more difficult.

One such thing is judging the distance between your car and the next one. This distance should be at least one and a half the length of your own car. Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to measure. It’s enough to just make a visual assessment and stick to it.

Another thing that the instructor will always warn you about is to use your direction indicators. This is important even when you think there’s no one around you to see it. Developing this habit makes a world of difference.

3.      Driving with impaired judgment

While everyone knows that they shouldn’t drive under the influence of alcohol, the truth is that this is not the only condition that impairs their judgment. Drugs of all kinds are just as dangerous and, because police officers usually don’t have testing kits on them, a lot of drivers abuse this.

First of all, you shouldn’t avoid substances because you’re legally prohibited from using them. You need to avoid them because they’re impairing your judgment, thus putting yourself and others in danger.

The same thing goes with driving while tired or while under extreme emotional duress. While veteran drivers can compose themselves under these circumstances, as a new driver, you really shouldn’t be taking this risk.

4.      Learn how to park

Learning how to park properly is a simple thing but you need to put an active effort into mastering it. There are YouTube videos explaining how this works. There are also people in your vicinity who are veteran drivers, who can show you the right technique in a matter of minutes. Lastly, you can even ask your instructor to take a bit more time to show you.

First of all, this will make you more confident about being able to find a parking spot. Second, it reduces the time that you’ll spend cruising around looking for a parking spot. This will massively reduce the risk that you’re under, as well.

Finally, being able to park safely will reduce the chance that you’ll damage your vehicle while parking. This alone is a huge boon to your self-confidence as a driver. Keep in mind that parking in and parking out tend to cause no short of a panic attack for a lot of new drivers.

5.      Assuming other drivers will act rationally

The biggest mistake that you can ever make in traffic is to assume that other traffic participants will act rationally all the time. Just because they didn’t use the indicator, doesn’t mean that they won’t make the sharp turn. Just because they did use the indicator, this doesn’t mean that they will turn. These things both get forgotten and used by accident.

They might make a calculation that their current speed is appropriate and that they will definitely be able to overtake the car in front of them. Then again, they might be really, really bad at making estimates.

Overall, there is not much you can do here. All that you can do is distance yourself from them enough so that you can react if they do something stupid or reckless. Also, be ready for the unpredictable. Always keep your eyes on the road and both your hands on the steering wheel.

In conclusion

Keep in mind that no matter how much you drive, there are always new and unprecedented scenarios for you to encounter. This is why, although confidence is important, overconfidence is never advised. You need to be careful about the way you drive and always be mindful of your surroundings. As a new driver, nonetheless, paying attention to the above-listed five concerns and making sure not to make these mistakes can make all the difference in the world.


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