The British driving test ranks among the hardest in the world, and with good reason. The dynamic charm of British roads makes driving a constant learning process, requiring focus and expertise. Passing the test gives new drivers the freedom to use these roads, but isn’t motoring’s be all and end all: instead, the test forms an important milestone on the journey to experienced driving. The best drivers bring patience and an open mind to each lesson. These road safety tips should give new drivers the best to learn at their lessons, tests, and beyond.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Staying calm, breathing deeply, and driving cautiously go a long way for new drivers. This applies across lessons, tests, and general driving. Like any skill, staying calm requires practice, as confusing new layouts, tough manoeuvres, and frustrating traffic test the nerves. However, patience and perseverance are the most important road safety tips for drivers at every level.
Don’t Get Driven to Distraction
Safe driving demands focus. Turning your head to change the radio station could bring your journey to an abrupt end. Decide on your driving soundtrack before you travel, and prioritise the road over conversations to prevent crashes and close calls. Besides lives, this could save time, money, and trauma while honing your driving skills.
Experienced Co-Pilots Give Great Road Safety Tips
Driving lessons form a new driver’s basic training, but experienced passengers support your journey between and after sessions. A new driver’s friends and family might well have decades if not centuries of driving experience between them, and it seems a shame to waste it. Good co-pilots also help curb distractions by picking up dropped items and offering useful directions in a pinch.
Hands On the Wheel
As road safety tips go, the simplest help the most. Place your hands on either side of the wheel to keep yourself safe and your passengers happy. Palming the wheel might seem cool, but car crashes are not.
Learn in Bad Conditions
The best driving lessons cover bad weather conditions as well as clear days. Driving in high winds and low visibility, while unpleasant, becomes a staple of the British driving experience. Learning in tough conditions gives new drivers a head start for inclement tests and rainy road trips.
Practice Under the Hood
Driving tests often require new drivers to identify fluids under the hood but driving itself proves far more practical. Changing these fluids, and other maintenance, including headlights, become vital for running a vehicle. New drivers should practice changing bulbs and filling coolant to solve emergencies before they occur.
Be Warned: Other Drivers Ignore Road Safety Tips
Sadly, not everyone on the road drives safely. Safe driving involves anticipating unsafe driving from other cars. New drivers should therefore expect the worst from lane-changers and roundabout users to protect themselves and others. Remember hazard perception, leave healthy gaps, and drive defensively for best results.
Prepare for the Motorway
The first time on the motorway is a big step for any new driver. While simpler than junction driving, with fewer hill-starts, motorway driving is a high-stakes task. New drivers should watch out for speeding and middle-lane-hogging and stick to the speed limit. Perhaps plan a small motorway journey to practice before embarking on a cross-country odyssey.
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
Preparation and planning help new drivers work around their lack of experience, and approach obstacles forearmed and forewarned. The best way to avoid rushing is by planning the journey with plenty of time. As digital directions glitch and run out of battery, consider printing a hard copy of directions, along with an experienced passenger.
Dithering and indecision create almost as many hazards as rushing and speeding. When changing lanes or manoeuvring, make decisions in advance, then commit to moving safely and effectively.
Turn Your Phone Off
Phone distractions cause 1.6 million car crashes every year, creating more collisions than any other factor. In 2017, drivers on their phones killed 33 people and seriously injured 93 in the UK alone. New drivers caught on their phones in Britain face an instant driving ban and a £200 fine. To protect yourself and the public, keep your phone on silent and out of sight in the car.