As you pull away for the first time after you’ve passed your test, you might think you know a lot about driving. But although your driving instructor has taught you the basics and you know how to safely operate a car, this has all been under supervision. You’ve had someone to ask the odd question to. Once you’ve passed, you’ll be thrown straight into everyday driving. This includes impatient drivers and unscheduled roadworks. There are many testing situations you just might not have come across before.
So, if you’re a little apprehensive about driving alone, check out our top tips for new or inexperienced drivers below.
Get to know your car
More than likely, you probably took your driving test in your instructor’s car as it might be the one you’re most used it. If this sounds like you and you’ve only driven your own car between lessons, then you need to get to know your car. From the basics such as how you turn the windscreen wipers on to learning all the dashboard symbols just in case. It sounds simple, but when you find yourself in a downpour with water obscuring your view it’s important you can find and turn on your windscreen wipers with minimal fuss.
Familiarise yourself with blind spots
Usually, in driving lessons, your instructor will prompt you to check your blind spot. You need to get into the habit of doing this on your own – particularly if you’re changing lanes on a road. You might think you’d be able to spot a car that was driving right next to you, but frequently, road users pull straight into the path – or into the vehicle – right beside them. So keep checking your blind spot.
Don’t rush to take your friends out
If you’re the first of your friends to drive it can be so exciting when you finally pass – freedom! You’re still an inexperienced driver though and you need to remember that. Get familiar with your car and make sure you feel comfortable ferrying people back and forth. You’ve probably only driven with one or two people at most, so going from that to a full car can be a little daunting. Make sure your friends don’t distract you as you drive.
It’s important you don’t undertake challenges you feel you’re not quite ready for. Start by setting yourself a series of small challenges. Whether that means driving into a busy area alone or going the shops and back alone. Just take small steps and you’ll soon be a driving master!