Every driver, regardless of their experience, makes mistakes every once in a while as they drive along. So it makes sense that new drivers make mistakes as they take to the road for the first time after getting their driver’s license. However, every new driver should be aware that there are mistakes they should work hard to avoid. Some of the common mistakes are discussed below.
Following Too Closely
One of the new drivers’ most common driving mistakes is following too closely. When drivers follow too closely, they decrease the time available to react to a situation in front of them. It can lead to severe consequences. To avoid following too closely, maintain at least a three-second cushion between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to minimize the chances of a collision. If the vehicle in front of you suddenly slams on the brakes or makes an emergency stop, you will have time to engage your brakes without hitting it.
Failing to Use the Turn Signal
Another common mistakes new drivers make is to use their turn signal improperly. The mistake is easily avoided by following a few simple ruless. You must signal for at least 100 feet or 4 seconds before making a turn or switching lanes. This allows time for nearby drivers to see your signal and make necessary adjustments to their speed and lane position. Remain vigilant about using your turn signals, including regularly checking to ensure they work. When you notice one of your light bulbs has burned out, replace it immediately.
If your vehicle is not equipped with turn signals, or if your turn signals are not functioning properly, you must use hand signals to indicate when you’re making a turn or changing lanes.
Failing to Adjust to Weather Conditions
Several factors affect the way a vehicle behaves in different weather conditions. These include the type of road surface, the amount of moisture on the road, the temperature, the wind speed and direction, and the visibility. All of these factors must be considered when driving in different weather conditions. For example, a car will take longer to stop on a wet road than on a dry road. It is because the tires have less grip on the wet surface. The driver needs to allow for this by reducing their speed and increasing the distance between them and the car in front.
Speeding Through Yellow Lights
A steady yellow light means “clear the intersection.” It does not mean to speed up and beat the red light. When you encounter a steady yellow light, use caution – a red light is coming up. Stop if you can do so before you enter the crosswalk or intersection, even if there is another half-second of yellow light after you have stopped. Err on the side of safety and wait for the light to turn green. Speeding through a yellow light is never a good idea, and slamming on your brakes may cause the car behind you to rear-end you. So when you’re approaching a yellow light, stop if you can safely, but proceed through the intersection if you’re already traveling too fast to stop in time.
Failing to Check the Blindspot
Another common mistake new drivers make is failing to check their blind spots. Blind spots are most commonly on the right and left rear sides of the vehicle. Always look over your shoulder before making any lane changes or turns so that you can visually check your blind spots. Not doing so can result in a crash, as other drivers may not expect you to move into their lane. Before changing lanes, a driver should glance at the rearview mirror and side mirrors. In addition, they must always turn their head quickly and physically check the blind spot. One should also avoid sudden lane changes. If one needs to change lanes, do so gradually and deliberately following proper procedures. Sudden lane changes can startle other drivers and increase the risk of an accident.
Like any other skill, being an expert driver takes time, and it requires one to have patience throughout the process. By avoiding mistakes, there is a reduced risk of causing harm to oneself and other road users. A good driving trainer will teach you how to drive safely and avoid all these mistakes.