The Most Common Mistakes New Drivers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

By Jerry
Driving Lessons NSW

Learning to drive is an exciting milestone in life, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. As a new driver, you're eager to hit the road and explore the freedom that comes with it. However, it's essential to recognise that driving requires responsibility and attentiveness to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. In this blog, we will explore some of the most common mistakes new drivers make and offer valuable tips on how to avoid them.

Speeding - Slow Down for Safety

One of the most prevalent mistakes new drivers make is succumbing to the temptation of speeding. Speed limits are set for a reason – to maintain safety on the roads. Excessive speed reduces your ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the likelihood of accidents. Make a conscious effort to obey speed limits, especially in unfamiliar areas, adverse weather conditions, or during night driving.

Distracted Driving - Keep Your Focus

In today's digital age, distractions are everywhere, and it's easy to be lured into using your smartphone while driving. However, distracted driving is a significant cause of accidents. Avoid texting, making calls, or engaging in any other distracting activities while behind the wheel. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location or wait until you reach your destination.

Failure to Signal - Communicate Your Intentions

Using turn signals is a simple yet crucial aspect of driving. Signalling your intentions allows other drivers to anticipate your next move, reducing the risk of collisions. Always use your indicators when changing lanes, making turns, or merging into traffic.

Tailgating - Keep a Safe Following Distance

Tailgating, or driving too closely behind the vehicle in front, is a dangerous habit that new drivers often fall into. Maintain a safe following distance of at least three seconds, especially during adverse weather conditions or when driving at high speeds. This gives you ample time to react if the vehicle ahead suddenly stops or slows down.

Failing to Check Blind Spots - Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Blind spots are areas around your vehicle that are not visible in your rearview and side mirrors. Failing to check blind spots can lead to accidents, especially when changing lanes or merging. Always perform shoulder checks before making any lateral movements on the road.

Incorrect Use of Mirrors - Use Mirrors Effectively

Mirrors are invaluable tools for maintaining situational awareness while driving. New drivers often forget to adjust their mirrors properly, hindering their ability to observe traffic around them. Take the time to adjust your mirrors correctly before setting off, and make it a habit to check them regularly while driving.

Overconfidence - Stay Humble and Alert

Once you gain some driving experience, it's easy to become overconfident on the road. Overconfidence can lead to complacency and poor decision-making. Remember that driving requires constant focus and vigilance. Stay humble, and always be prepared for unexpected situations.

Ignoring Basic Vehicle Maintenance - Keep Your Car in Top Shape

Neglecting regular vehicle maintenance can lead to breakdowns or compromised safety. Get into the habit of checking your car's oil, tire pressure, brakes, and lights regularly. Also, don't forget to schedule regular servicing to keep your vehicle in top condition.

As a new driver, avoiding these common mistakes is essential for your safety and the safety of others. By staying mindful, responsible, and focused, you can navigate the roads with confidence. Always remember that learning to drive is an ongoing process, and there's always room for improvement. So, stay open to feedback, be patient with yourself, and strive to become a safer and more skilled driver with every mile you drive. Safe travels!

If you're looking to book in driving lessons in NSW, Awesome Driving School operate out of Sydney, Central Coast and Newcastle and provide automatic and manual lessons for learner drivers. Book in today!

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