Being a new driver is exciting yet daunting. The first time that you head out on the road on your own can bring all kinds of emotions. You might be worried about your safety as well as trying to remember all of the necessary driving rules. Nonetheless, maintaining safety is straightforward if you remain calm and take on the right tips. On that note, here are the best new driver safety tips.
Know how to claim if you have an accident
All drivers are vulnerable to accidents on the road. Even if you drive as sensibly and safely as possible, you might be involved in an accident due to the reckless driving of someone else on the road.
Thus, you will want to know how to deal with an incident in case you are involved in one. If you do ever find yourself in this situation, use this step by step guide for how to file a claim after a car accident:
- Attain all necessary information from the other people involved: name, phone number, address, license plate number, auto-ID number, and contact information for their policyholder.
- Take as many pictures as possible: of the cars from every angle, close-up shots of the damage, skid marks on the road, and a view of all nearby signs.
- Seek medical help: you should seek medical help immediately and ask other people on the scene to complete the steps above. Call emergency services and attend to your injuries.
- Call the police: when emergency medical services are on their way, it is time to call the police. Let them know what has happened and ask them to come to the scene.
- Make a claim: when the evidence and contact information has been collected and you have attained emergency help, it is time to make your claim. It is important to make a claim so that you attain the compensation that you deserve.
Perform regular checks on your car
Performing regular checks on your car will ensure that your car is in optimal health and will be safe on the road. You will go through how to check your car with your driving instructor before your final test. Thus, you should be aware of how to check your car.
For instance, performing regular checks on your car engine, suspension, chassis, and other mechanical features will ensure that your car is in good condition and able to run as smoothly and safely as possible.
Always wear your seat belt
Before you set off on any journey, you must remember to wear your seat belt. It is the number one safety rule to protect you in case you come to a sudden stop or are involved in an incident.
Your seat belt is there for a reason and you would have never partaken in a driving lesson without wearing one. Thus, always remember to buckle yourself in before you start the car.
Stick to the speed limits
Likewise, speed limits are there for a reason. Every speed limit should be stuck to. Sometimes speed limits change suddenly, which could be due to an incident ahead or a sudden change in the weather.
Therefore, always keep an eye out for signs that indicate a change in speed limit.
You might not be used to committing your full attention to one thing, like driving. However, you must ensure to maintain 100% focus when you drive, especially when you are responsible for passengers.
Avoid distractions such as loud music, frustrating passengers, and your mobile phone. A simple 3-second check of your phone could make you miss a red light or crash into an obstacle or car.
Never drive intoxicated
If you have consumed alcohol, then avoid driving at all costs. Not only is it illegal, but it will put yourself and others in danger.
The limit is typically 2 to 3 units, depending on your gender. However, always avoiding driving after consuming any alcohol is sensible. Any influence of alcohol can impair your vision and your alertness.
Adjust your mirrors before you set off
Although you have likely set your mirrors to their best settings, they may have been moved in the last journey by a friend.
Always ensure to check and adjust your mirrors accordingly before setting off so that you have a clear view of your surroundings.
Adjusting your mirrors before setting off will also limit distractions. If you find that you forgot to adjust your mirrors before setting off, then pull over to a safe place to correct them. Trying to adjust them when you are driving could hinder your alertness and attention.
Drive on common routes
Driving on unusual routes could get you in all kinds of trouble. You might come to a dead-end and get stuck or experience bumpy roads, which could be difficult to handle and may damage your car.
Thus, always stick to routes you know and that are common/recommended. You will be given the best route on a sat-nav if you use one. You should stick to these. Even if you can shorten your journey by taking another route, it might not be safe, not easy to drive.
Get plenty of rest and water
You should never drive tired or dehydrated. Before you set off, ensure that you have had enough sleep and consumed plenty of water.
Lacking sleep and water could reduce your alertness and in the worst case, cause you to feel unwell or sleepy behind the wheel. If you feel unwell or tired, then pull over and only drive when you feel your best self.
Use your turn signals
Whether or not there are other vehicles around you, always make sure to use your turn signals. A car could come out of nowhere and not know where you are turning if you do not use your signals.
Using your signals will show other vehicles and drivers on the road where you plan to go so that they can adjust their driving accordingly.
Stop when lights turn yellow
When traffic lights are turning from green to yellow, always ensure to slow down and come to a stop. It means that they are turning red. If you try to zoom through the light, oncoming traffic from the other direction could crash into you.
It is best to slow down rather than come to an immediate stop so that cars behind you are warned to slow down too.
Come to a complete stop
When you do finally stop due to standstill traffic or red lights, ensure to always come to a complete stop. If you avoid putting your handbrake on, then you might roll back without realizing it, which could cause a crash.
If you decide to slowly crawl forward, it may result in cars behind you doing the same and lacking distance, which can hinder your safety.
Adjust accordingly for the weather
Weather conditions are always changing. It is important to know how to maintain safety in your car when driving in various conditions.
For instance, if it turns from sunny to rainy, then you will want to slow down and use lower gears. Driving in high gears could cause you to skid.
When you adjust your driving according to the weather, you will maintain maximum safety for yourself and others on the road.
Remember to give right of way
One thing to remember when you are driving and approaching junctions or roundabouts is to give right of way. If you don’t, then you might collide with another vehicle. Depending on the country you live in, the rules will differ.
However, the rules will be given to you during your lessons. Giving people the right of way is polite and also means that you can avoid making other drivers angry.
Use your headlights
When the weather is miserable and dreary, or the evening draws in, remember to use your headlights. Without headlights, other vehicles might not realize that you are on the road or approaching a junction.
Headlights make your car more visible and will ensure that all drivers on the road can see you. Likewise, they are important so that walkers can see you too. If they go to cross the road on a dark evening and your headlights aren’t switched on, then they might not see you.
Know where you are going
If you drive without knowing your endpoint, then you might drive in the wrong direction or drive around aimlessly, which could put other drivers at risk.
If you don’t know where you are going, then you will likely be less alert and uncertain of your driving skills. You might drive too slow, which could cause issues for other drivers. Remember to set up your route before you head off so that you can avoid aggravating other drivers.
As a new driver, it is important to follow the rules, be patient, avoid distractions, and know your car well. Practice makes perfect and using these tips, you can maintain safety on the road.