Your driving lessons will teach you how to operate a car in order to get from A to B and park safely once you get there. However, the real learning comes once you have your driving license and take to the roads in your own car! Being a good driver doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s something that you need to work on. Follow these tips and you’ll be a relaxed and confident driver in no time…
Practice – You’re not going to just wake up one day and be a perfect driver, it takes practice. Make sure you gain experience driving in different situations such as city centres, country roads and motorways. Drive at different times of day so that you can experience gridlocked rush hour traffic, quiet roads, and night-time driving. It’s also advisable to practice driving in a variety of weather conditions e.g. rain, snow, high winds etc so that you know how to handle your vehicle correctly.
Avoid distractions – If you have a passenger that is likely to distract you by talking or gesticulating whilst you’re driving then you could perhaps ask them to sit in the back or keep quiet until you reach your destination. It’s also recommended that you avoid hanging things from your rear view mirror or having stuff on your dashboard as these things can interfere with your field of vision and cause a distraction.
Learn to read the road – The more driving you do, the more experienced you’ll be in reading the road ahead. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you and what other drivers are up to. They should be using their indicators and brakes etc to let you know their intentions but this isn’t always the case so keep your distance and try to identify potential hazards and ways in which you can remain safe.
Be confident and decisive – One of the worst things you can do whilst driving is to hesitate. If you’ve indicated to change lanes and a clearing opens up, don’t hesitate in moving over! Be confident that you’ve used your indicators to inform other road users of your actions, check your mirrors to make sure you’re clear then go for it! Hesitation confuses and frustrates other road users and can pose a potential hazard.
Get to know your vehicle – Use your car’s manual to identify the location of everything from the wiper controls to the fuel cap. The last thing you want is to be out driving and it suddenly starts to rain but you don’t know how to turn on your wipers! It’s also a good idea to get to know how your vehicle handles, i.e. its maximum speed, turning circle and acceleration among other things. Take all of these things into account when driving, e.g. don’t try to overtake another car at the traffic lights if your car doesn’t have the horse power to accelerate quickly!