After months of what has felt like endless lessons, stress and a theory test chucked in there too, you’ve finally passed your driving test! The road to freedom is now yours, but you might want to take a read at some tips for new drivers just to avoid any accidents! After all you don’t want to be saying goodbye to that license anytime soon.
Keep it short & sweet
You’ve ditched the L plates, you’re free to let loose on the open road! But let’s be safe, don’t go trekking halfway across the country on your first few drives. Stay local, stay on roads you know just to get used to driving without your instructor. It’s a lot different when it’s just you in control, you haven’t got that added safety so just bear that in mind!
Get used to roundabouts
I always found roundabouts a bit tricky and living in Milton Keynes there is a LOT of roundabouts, the most in the UK in fact. In theory you should be pretty experienced in tackling them but if you’re still not confident, go out for extra practice with a family member on a quiet Sunday afternoon
Ditch the phone
Did you know young drivers get burnt with six points instead of the usual three if caught with a phone within two years of achieving their driver’s license? It’s also one of the main causes of car crashes and car related deaths so it really isn’t worth the risk, just wait until you’re at your destination to check that snapchat.
It’s an essential. It might cause you some annoyance shelling out an extra 50 quid on top of the cost of your car, insurance, tax (the list goes on) but you really can’t be doing without out. Make sure you opt for an option that takes you home, it might be a little bit more expensive but will ensure you won’t end up stranded on a roadside anywhere. Trust me, I learnt the hard way.
Stick to the soft drinks
This has probably been drilled into you enough already, but it is so important that you do not take the risk of drinking and driving even if it’s just ‘one or two’. Why even take the chance? Stick to a refreshing diet coke and save the alcohol for when you’re ordering a cab (or your parents are around).
Think about your passengers
I know, it’s so exciting when you finally get your hands on that much awaited pink license. All you want to do is jump in your car with a group of friends and set off on a road trip. Whilst this is all well and good, think about who you’re letting into your car. That silly friend, the loud one? Try and minimise distractions.
Watch your valuables
Don’t leave your phone, wallet, laptop, expensive jacket etc. in sight of passers-by. Even if you’re just popping into the station to pay for your petrol, it only takes a few minutes for someone to swipe your valuables. Be aware!
Keep handy numbers
It’s better to be safe than sorry, make sure you keep a little file of important numbers in your car. This could include your insurance details, breakdown cover and even the number of a local auto locksmith. You’d be surprised at how many people lock themselves out of their car (guilty again).
Keep your petrol topped up
Did you know it’s bad for your engine to constantly drain your tank and drive around on the red? Try and keep your petrol topped up just above the red, it will prolong the longevity of your vehicle and you won’t be breaking down anywhere for lack of fuel!
Above all, stay safe, don’t get into a panic and make sure you get enough experience behind the wheel to feel confident enough to drive in new territory. It’s daunting driving on your own for the first time, good luck!