8 Things all New Drivers Need To Know

You’ve finally got your driving license, and you are ready to get behind the wheel and drive independently. You’ve spent hours learning how to make this giant machine work for you, and you’re prepared to be out on your own – you’re ready…or so you think. It’s one thing to feel confident in your abilities as a driver, and quite another to believe that you know everything that there is to know about driving. As a new driver, you are finally taking off the training wheels and driving alone, and that is entirely different from having someone ready to slam on the brakes when you need help.

While you are busy drooling over cars online and in showrooms, you should be making sure that you compare car insurance quotes and figure out what’s going to be best for you as a newbie out there on the road. With the statistics as they are for new drivers and accidents on the road, you need help. You have passed your test, yes, but you are still a learner and even getting to know how difficult the roads can be. You’ll be dealing with other road users and their habits, so our eight tips below are going to ensure that you are well-versed on what to do next.

  • Book More Lessons. You may have passed your test, but that doesn’t mean that your formal driving education is over. It would help if you considered that there is more for you to learn. It would help if you learned how to drive on the highways, and at night time, and during the worst rush hour possible. There is no shame in asking for extra training as a new driver, you need to learn how to learn how to drive in horrendous weather, and your local driving instructors can offer you that additional training for that. Education is key to safer driving on the road, so take on as much as you can.
  • Buy Your Car. It’s the most exciting part of the process – buying a brand new car for you to drive in. What you need to do now is get inside and keep your feet off the pedals. You need to turn the car on and figure out where the hazard light buttons are, the fog lights, the check engine light. It would help if you got to know your shiny new car inside and out so that you know how it all works. This will prevent you from being stuck on the road!
  • Spend time Cycling. You may be a new driver, but you need to buy a bicycle and get out there on the road that way, too. Why? Perspective, young one! You need to have perspective and know what it’s like for cyclists and how they are treated on the road. Once you understand how others would treat you as a cyclist, you can avoid treating people that way. 
  • Know Your Blind Spots. You would have learned where the blind spots were of your car when you were learning to drive. Your mirrors are excellent at showing you what’s behind you, but they can’t figure out what’s in the blind spots. Your blind spot is where cyclists and motorbikes turn up when you’re not expecting it. Learn where the blind spots are in the new car, and make sure that you check them every time you go anywhere.
  • Drive In The Correct Lane. Wherever you are driving, you need to make sure that you are in the correct lane. Sit in the one for regular day to day driving, and stay out of the overtaking lanes unless you plan to overtake. Playing by the rules stops you from getting arrested for dangerous driving and prevents you from losing that shiny new licence you have just earned. When you are driving in the proper lane, you can ensure that you are driving safely and legally – which is everything you want to do as a new driver.
  • Go Out In the Rain. You might have been fortunate during your driving lessons and avoided having to drive in the rain. Well, the time is now to get out there and drive through the storms. You need to deal with wet weather, ice on the road, snow and sleet. You have to get a feel for braking distances, and you have to feel how the weather can affect your car. It would help if you did this on your own terms, at a time you choose to do it so that you can gain more experience in driving in a range of conditions.
  • No Phones, Not At All. Did you know that hands-free kits are a bad idea in the car? If your vehicle is not as technologically in-tune with where you need it to be, you won’t be able to feed your phone calls through your speakers. If this is the case, you need to leave your phone off or on silent and in the glove compartment. There are a lot of warnings about road safety, and you want to ensure that you are as safe as possible while you drive. Answering calls while you drive is an excellent way to die – to put it bluntly – so let’s not do that. Keep your mind and eyes on the road and don’t touch your phone for texts, calls or social media.
  • Say No To The Friendship Taxi. It’s not uncommon to deal with pressure from your friends when it comes to driving them to different places. The problem is that there is a natural need to show off your skills, and nothing is amusing about being egged on to go faster or do more by people who don’t know how to drive. They don’t know the laws of the road or the way to drive safely. So, please don’t take on friends in your car for lifts until you know you are safe and confident and you have what it takes to say no to their pressure. You don’t have to go faster because your mates tell you to!
Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.