Most people view the acquisition of a driver's license as a true red-letter day. In fact, for youngsters this is the ultimate expression of freedom, as they can now take to the open road and break free from the home environment. Yet this isn't only about the ability to explore, as driving should be seen as a privilege and not a right. It is, after all, a potentially dangerous activity and one that should never be underestimated. What are some of the key habits that new drivers need to develop, if they are to be as safe as they can be?
What Makes a Good Driver?
Every new licence holder should aspire to be as competent a driver as possible and should understand the basics of how a car works and how it will perform in different circumstances. When you understand why your car behaves the way it does as a new driver, this will give you a lot more confidence on the open road. Remember, being aggressive behind the wheel is definitely a bad idea, but you also need to be assertive to a certain extent. In other words, you need to strike a fine balance.
What Speed are You Doing?
Speed limits are meant to be observed, as they are there to keep everybody safe. When you are a new driver this may well be something you need to get used to and you should be aware of the general speed limits in your neighbourhood. You won't always see speed limit signs, but you should know how fast you are supposed to be going.
One of the biggest dangers to any young driver on the road today is the epidemic of texting and driving. Everyone has a smart phone and needs to be constantly connected, but you must get into the habit of ignoring any incoming messages when you are behind the wheel. Many people are tempted to reply quickly to a text, but this is extremely dangerous and has led to many fatalities, unfortunately.
Tiredness Can Kill
If you see your new permit as a licence to explore, you may be ready to head off into the distance. Before you do so, remember to plan for any lengthy trip and remember that tiredness is a key factor in road accidents. Make sure that you stop periodically for a break and some refreshments.
Never Do This
At about the same time as Australian youngsters are picking up their new driving license, they are beginning to explore the world of alcohol. These two have to be mutually exclusive and anyone who is driving should stick to total sobriety for that day. Remember, the after-effects of a "heavy" party the night before can still be evident if you have to drive early in the morning.
Heading off into the Sunset
If you pay attention to these golden rules, then you should be able to enjoy a lifetime of adventure behind the wheel.
For more information, contact a local driving school.