We spend so much time fixated on passing our driving tests, trying to remember everything we need to know, that when we finally pass, we think what now!
Because we want you to maintain a high standard of driving every single day after you pass, we thought now is the best time to remind you of common rules and tips that new drivers shouldn’t forget once you go on to pass!
Always wear a seatbelt. This rule doesn’t just apply to you. As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone in the car is wearing theirs too. Approximately 7% of drivers do not wear seatbelts and more than a third (34%) of car occupants killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seatbelt, in a recent study.
Stick to the speed limits – they’re there for a reason. Once you have passed and you start taking your friends out, do not be influenced to drive more dangerously. Observe speed signs and adjust your speed according to the road and weather conditions. Speed limits are maximums, not targets.
Maintain focus. Keep your eyes on the road and do not use any mobile or electronic devices behind the wheel. Eating, drinking or engaging in other activities can also divert your attention too. Did you know, the first two years after you pass your test you’re on your ‘driving probation’ and this means if you get six points on your licence, it will be taken off you. The penalty of being caught on your mobile device is six points. All it takes is you getting caught on your phone behind the wheel once for your licence to be taken off you. You will have to do the whole process again. Is that a risk worth taking?
Use your indicators! This is something that many learners stop doing once they pass their driving test, despite it being just as crucial 7 years after passing, as it was on your actual test. Using your signal indicators will benefit other road users too as they will be able to tell what you plan on doing, such as turning, changing lanes or pulling over.
Check your blind spots (blind spots still exist after you pass!) Make sure your mirrors are adjusted to see blind spots and always check over your shoulder when changing lanes, overtaking or making turns. Be extra cautious for motorcyclists and bicycles as they can be easily hidden in blind spots.
Resist road rage. Maintain a calm and respectful demeanour while driving. Avoid any aggressive behaviour such as tailgating, speeding, or beeping your horn. Remember, everyone was a learner once…
Be careful when driving in different weather conditions; no matter how experienced you are. If you passed your test in March, you probably haven’t driven independently in the snow before. If it snows in December, with 9 months of experience gained, you may think you’re confident at driving, but this is still a new driving condition. Take your time and take extra caution; reduce your speed, increase your following distance and use the appropriate lights.
Do not drink and drive, period. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it impairs judgement, reaction time and coordination. If you are going out and plan to drink, do not take your car with you, assign a designated driver or use alternative transportation to get home.
Keep your vehicle well-maintained. Keep your car in good condition by performing regular maintenance checks, such as tyre pressure, brake, lights, and fluid levels. Keeping on top of this will keep you safe on the road.
Don’t drive when you’re tired! Driving requires a lot of attention and concentration, so driving when you’re tired will have a massive impact on your reaction time and driving performance. On long journeys, if you’re tired, stop in a safe place and take a break.
Remember, these are just some of the common rules and tips for new drivers. Always familiarise yourself with the specific laws and regulations of your country or state as they may vary. Safe driving practices and continuous learning will help you become a confident and responsible driver.