As a new driver, it’s important to know that driving comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only are you responsible for your own safety, but you’re also responsible for the safety of others on the road.
Unfortunately, new drivers tend to make a lot of mistakes that can lead to accidents and other issues. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top five common mistakes new drivers make and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents
1. Not Paying Attention to Speed Limits
One of the most common mistakes new drivers make is not paying attention to speed limits. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including not knowing the speed limit in a certain area, feeling rushed, or simply not paying attention to signs. However, driving at excessive speeds can be dangerous and increase the risk of accidents.
To avoid this mistake, always pay attention to speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly. If you’re not sure what the speed limit is in a certain area, look for signs or use a GPS device that can display the current speed limit.
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that the speed limit displayed on GPS devices isn’t always entirely accurate and should only serve as an indication of the speed limit rather than definitive information. You should consider other factors as well. As a general rule, if there are no speed signs on a road with street lamps less than 200 yards apart, the speed limit is 30 mph. For it to be any different, a repeater sign would be required.
2. Failing to Check Blind Spots
A typical error made by novice drivers is disregarding blind spot checking before changing lanes or moving off. Blind spots refer to the areas surrounding the vehicle that are not visible through the rearview or side mirrors. Failure to inspect these spots can lead to collisions or accidents.
To avoid this mistake, it’s crucial to develop a habit of checking your blind spots. This can be done through quick sideways glances, known as chin-to-shoulder checks, while driving, which prevent excessively long periods of looking away from the road ahead.
When moving off, a complete blind spot check is required, necessitating rotation in the seat to view the area behind and to the side of the vehicle.
Checking blind spots is critical since they contributed to 1,250 accidents in 2016, underscoring the importance of always checking them.
3. Following Too Closely
Tailgating, or following too closely behind another vehicle, is a common mistake made by new drivers. Following too closely can be dangerous because it reduces your reaction time and can lead to rear-end collisions.
To avoid this mistake, always leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least two seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
This means you start counting from the time the vehicle in front of you passes a fixed object and make sure your vehicle passes the same object after two seconds. This following distance should be doubled in wet weather.
4. Not Using Indicator Signals
Many new drivers forget to use their indicator signals when changing lanes or turning. This can be dangerous because other drivers may not be able to anticipate your next move, which can lead to accidents.
To avoid this mistake, always use your indicator signals when changing lanes or turning. This is a simple but important habit that can help prevent accidents and keep you safe on the road.
5. Driving While Distracted
Finally, driving while distracted is a common mistake made by new drivers. Distracted driving can include using your phone while driving, eating, applying makeup, or even talking to passengers. However, distracted driving can be dangerous and can lead to accidents or collisions.
To avoid this mistake, always stay focused on the road and avoid distractions. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location and use it there. Additionally, make sure any passengers in your vehicle are not distracting you while driving.
In conclusion, new drivers tend to make a lot of mistakes on the road. However, by being aware of these common mistakes and taking steps to avoid them, you can become a safe and responsible driver. Always pay attention to speed limits, check your blind spots, leave plenty of space between vehicles, use indicator signals, and avoid distractions while driving.
By following these simple tips, you can stay safe on the road and avoid accidents.