Driving can feel intimidating activity for beginners. After all, even the most experienced drivers can still get into a car crash or collisions when driving along a busy highway. But as with other things, practice always makes perfect. And the same goes for those behind the wheel.
As a beginner driver, preventing accidents lies in practicing defensive driving. Defensive driving is a set of driving skills that allow you to defend yourself against possible accidents caused by negligent drivers. And it can go a long way in keeping you and other motorists safe.
Safe driving tips for beginners
Understanding road safety guidelines can make a huge difference in preventing potential accidents. Even a small misstep is enough to compromise your safety, and so practicing the utmost care is a must every time you drive. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as a beginner driver:
Pay full attention to the road
Driving instructors always teach student drivers to keep their eyes on the road. And for good reason: one of the leading causes of road accidents is distracted driving. Data shows that approximately 25% of all motor crash fatalities are caused by distracted driving. Distractions like texting, eating, talking to passengers, or fiddling with the car’s entertainment or navigation system can take your attention away from safe driving.
Practice proper car care
As a general rule of thumb, car owners are recommended to have their car serviced at least once a year (or every 12,000 miles). There’s no “one size fits all” rule, however, since every car and car owners are different. But if you use your vehicle for your everyday commute, it’s a good idea to schedule a car service at least once a year. A car service usually includes a visual inspection, oil and filter change, steering and suspension check, and more. Supplement annual service check-ups with car care practices to keep your car in top-notch condition. This way, you’ll lower the chances of it breaking down unexpectedly on the road.
Use turn signals
Turning safely involves slowing down and turning on your turn signals to alert motorists behind you that you’re about to turn. Using your turn signals is important because they help you communicate with other drivers and are required by law. The whole process of making the proper signals take only a second. Statistics show, however, that most drivers neglect to flip their turning signals on when driving. Failing to do so can cause confusion and make drivers more prone to accidents.
Don’t stay in the left lane for too long
The left lane, also called the “fast lane” is the designated passing lane for vehicles. This means that it’s reserved for passing and faster moving traffic. As a result, motorists are discouraged from staying on the fast lane for too long. The left lane should generally be used when you’re passing a slower driving car, or when the road and crowded and both lanes are in use. So make sure you’ve merged back into the lane you came from after overtaking the car in front of you.
Avoid driving under the speed limit
When it comes to highway safety, people often discuss the dangers of driving over the speed limit and why this should be avoided at all times. But driving under the speed limit can also come with road risks, however. Even if you’re navigating a new area or are searching for a parking space, make sure that you aren’t driving too slow to unreasonably obstruct the vehicle behind you. This can be dangerous when you are merging into traffic too slowly and are causing cars to suddenly use their brakes or swerve into another lane.
Familiarize yourself with your route before driving
Waze can be a very helpful navigational app to use, but there will be times when it fails to update. This could cause you to get lost if you’re aren’t familiar with your location. You may also lose your internet connection if you’re traveling in remote countryside areas, and other factors could degrade your GPS positioning accuracy. Drive safely by studying the route you plan to take before hopping into your car.
Commit to overtaking
Overtaking vehicles on the road takes timing, awareness, and commitment. Check the road and make sure it’s safe before you overtake a vehicle by observing if there’s enough space on the other lane as well as in front of the vehicle you plan to overtake. If it’s safe enough, go ahead and move past the slower moving vehicle, but make sure you commit to overtaking. Hesitating can confuse fellow drivers.
Know your blind spots
Blind spots are an important lesson in driving schools. Blind spots are the areas around the vehicle that aren’t directly seen in your rear or side mirrors while behind the wheel. Familiarize yourself with these blind spots to avoid being more prone to car accidents. Apart from checking your mirrors, look over your shoulder to make sure the lanes you’re changing to are clear. Nd as mentioned above, always signal properly before you turn.
Practicing proper road safety is a discipline
Driving safely is a discipline that you need to practice every time you get on the road. It’s about taking the necessary precautions as well as defensive driving at all times. Everyone, regardless of their skill level, should drive safely on the road. After all, keeping the road accident-free should be every driver’s priority.
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