Top 10 New Driver Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
There are several mistakes new drivers make with many of them leading to accidents. Distractions, weather, darkness, and many other items are reasons a novice driver needs to be alert at all times. Learning to avoid dangerous situations will lessen the chance of a new driver getting in an accident. Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory and needs to be put on at all times when in a vehicle. Become aware of these ten new driver mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Distractions are a danger
Driving with a car full of people, loud music, and using a cell phone are all distracting to any driver. A five second distraction going 30 MPH will leave your car traveling 220 feet. This means even a one second distraction lets the car travel 44 feet without the attention of the driver. Cutting down on distractions while driving is a must, especially for inexperienced drivers. A new driver should limit the number of passengers with him who will not be a distraction. Cell phones should never be used while driving. If it must be used, stop the car out of traffic and shut the ignition off. Loud music should be avoided while driving, as well as super relaxing music while driving on a highway. This, along with the center line, could possibly put you to sleep.
2. Intersections and blind spots
A lot of collisions occur at intersections due to blind spots. The roof posts and rear view mirror can hide a vehicle, especially a motorcycle, when you stop at an intersection. Come to a complete stop and look both ways at least twice before preceding. This give a hidden vehicle time to come in view saving a possible collision.
3. Railroad Crossings
Trains are very heavy and some require more than a mile to come to a complete stop, even with the panic brakes on. By not looking or slowing down at rail crossings could endanger your life as well as your passengers. Signal lights and crossing gates can malfunction and many crossings are still unmarked. Always slow down and look both ways for a train.
4.Driving in the dark
Night driving is a totally different experience. Lights only shine straight so when turning corners you need to be extra careful. A pedestrian could be crossing the street in front of where you are turning while your lights are still shining another direction. Water and the sky reflect light adding to the confusion while you drive. Always slow down while driving in the dark, especially on roads you do not know.
5. Underestimating power and speeding
Many cars can hit 60 MPH in less than six seconds. with this much power available, a new driver can get in trouble by losing control of the vehicle very quickly. Speeding can result in wrecks, traffic tickets, and an increase in insurance rates. Always drive sensible and respect the power of the vehicle you are driving.
6. Children and pedestrians
There are many pedestrians hit by vehicles every year, many of them by novice drivers. Children still chase balls out in the street and people are always prone to jaywalk. Always be on the lookout for a ball rolling into the street or a pedestrian getting ready to cross the street.
7. Inclement weather
Bad weather causes an increase in auto accidents. Ice and snow are especially dangerous to drive on. Drive slowly and slow down before you turn. Shift into neutral when stopping on snow or ice. You can even use the shoulder of the road to help slow you down in an emergency.
8. Freeway access ramp
These ramps are designed for easy merging to keep traffic flowing. they are usually hundreds of feet long to make merging easy. Some new drivers are scared to merge and stop on the ramp creating a bottleneck behind them. there is also the risk of a rear-end collision. If you have trouble merging into traffic, practice on the longer merge ramps until you get the feel of it.
9. Improper maintenance
Brakes, tires, shocks, and other things contribute to the handling of a vehicle. Always keep them maintained for a safe driving experience.
Driving while drinking should be off limits to all drivers. Being impaired on the road leads to many accidents. Always drive careful and wear your seatbelt.