So, you’ve passed your driving test? Congratulations! Learning to drive can be tough for some, and it’s a great achievement that opens up a whole world of opportunities for you. Independence, flexibility, travel, new job prospects – everything changes once you have a license. However, don’t for one minute rest on your laurels. In fact, passing your driving test is just the first step towards actually learning to drive properly. First-timers and new license holders are often guilty of making some disastrous mistakes, which could harm your health, car, and finances. Here are five of the worst mishaps made by rookie drivers.
Sure, it’s tempting to take your friends out for regular spins. But when there are lots of distractions in the car – excited teens, loud music, mobile phones – you are in a lot of danger. Statistics suggest that distractions are the number one cause of road accidents, so you have to be 100% aware of what you are doing at all times.
Driving can be a frustrating experience when you are young, especially when you get stuck behind someone driving incredibly slow. But don’t forget that your sense of risk is a lot less fine tuned than someone with years of experience behind the wheel. Tailgating – following too closely behind the car in front – is a sure fire way of getting into an accident. Always leave a two-second gap – longer in wet conditions – between you and the car in front.
When you pass your test, one of the first things you do will be to set up a car insurance policy – you can’t drive without it. As cheapautoinsurance.co.uk state, driving without insurance can result in a fine of up to £5,000. However, many young drivers forget to read the terms and conditions correctly – and many different things can invalidate your claim should you have an accident. Wearing flip flops, not renewing your MOT, and forgetting to strap in your pet dog can all result in your insurance company deciding not to pay out.
As a teenager and young adult, there’s a good chance your hormones will be all over the place. And even if you are the meek and mild type, you just don’t know if there is a monster lurking inside that comes out once you are behind the wheel. Be incredibly wary about road rage – there will be many times when you want to confront someone, but it’s always a bad idea. Not only is it a dangerous distraction while you are driving, but road rage arguments tend to escalate quickly.
Finally, as a young driver, there’s a chance you will attract the attention of the police – it’s just the way it goes. According to telegraph.co.uk, there are a few things that will catch their eye – and none of them are things you should be doing anyway. Loud music, speeding, and dangerous driving are obvious starting points. But you should also be wary of changing your driving behaviour when a police car is behind you. And it also goes without saying that you need to maintain your car properly – many teens drive their vehicles into the ground, and any spot check is likely to reveal a few issues.