New Driver Mistakes to Avoid

For a new driver, fresh from their test and raring to go, it can seem like the open road holds no more mysteries. The game has already been won, and that shiny new license means that anything is possible.

While optimism is certainly a good feeling for a new driver to have, it’s also important to keep in mind that safety and proficiency come with practice — a thing that takes some time to develop.

There are various potential mistakes that new drivers can make on the road which can be immensely dangerous. With the right foresight, however, they can be avoided.

Here’s a set of things you really don’t want to do as you’re growing accustomed to the open road.

Image via Flickr


Panicking when behind the wheel of a car is seldom ever helpful, and quite often lethal. Though it’s good to keep in mind that driving a car is a great responsibility, and that there are risks involved, it’s also imperative that you master the art of staying cool and collected — especially when things go wrong.

A deep breath might be your best friend.

Panic simply means losing control, acting without thinking. If you panic when you see another car trying to cut you off you might slam on the brakes or accelerate without thought of how likely that could end with you and another car colliding, followed by a trip to the hospital or the loan center.

You have to always maintain control when driving — control of your car and control of yourself.

Acting too hastily

In many instances, “acting too hastily” is the same as panicking, though not always. There are times when simple impatience, frustration, or inattention will inspire you to do something really stupid behind the wheel without taking the time to properly consider it and take stock of your situation.

A great example of this would be driving along, spacing out, and suddenly realising at the last possible second that you’re about to miss your turn-off. A responsible, skilled driver would handle this situation by taking a deep breath, missing the turn-off and correcting course later.

A hasty novice driver might well spin the steering wheel and make a sudden turn, potentially losing control of the car and skidding off the road, or failing to see the approaching truck and getting into a fatal collision.

Braking without checking your rear view mirror

This can either be very dangerous (if done at high speeds) or relatively harmless (if done at low speeds). It’s on the list due to its being one of the most common mistakes new drivers make.

Whenever you brake, you need to check your rear-view mirror first. This includes those times when you’re driving along a deserted road and don’t think anyone else is around.

Surprises can happen.

Speeding due to pressure from other drivers

Another one of the most common issues for new drivers; finding yourself panicked and flustered by an angry and impatient driver, and as a result putting the pedal to the metal.

As long as you’re driving safely, at around the speed limit, and feel in control of your car, don’t feel compelled to speed up for anyone.

If a guy behind you is experiencing advanced road-rage, it’s not your job to be an irresponsible driver so that he feels better.

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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review – an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.

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