Although passing your test can be an incredibly exciting feeling, going out on the road for the first time without an instructor is enough to fill your stomach with dread. You’ll no longer have your safety net at your side, so you’ll not only be focussing on the road, but you’ll be worrying about staying safe as a new driver.
To help put your mind at ease, we’ve come up with 12 tips and tricks to help you feel more comfortable as a new driver:
- Be Careful Late At Night
If you’re going to driving in the dark on a regular basis, remember it’s much more important to be vigilant about what is going on around you. Your lessons will have probably taken place during daylight, so unless you specifically booked a lesson for whilst it’s dark, you probably won’t have had much experience driving at the time.
- Use Your New Driver Plates As Long As You Need To
Having new driver plates on your car is a great way of showing other motorists that you’ve just passed your test. Whilst it’s not necessarily going to improve your driving skills, it’s super handy to show those around you that you may be a little bit nervous on the road. If you need to, keep these plates up for a couple of weeks after passing your test. There are no rules about how soon you have to remove them.
- Avoid Driving In Dangerous Weather Conditions
During your first few weeks of passing your test, it might be best to avoid driving in dangerous weather conditions. You won’t be very confident on the road and the added pressure of the weather could cause something bad to happen. If needs be, ask someone to come with you if you absolutely have to drive.
- Drive With A Passenger If It Makes You Feel More Comfortable
If for your first few times on the road you need to drive with a passenger to make you feel more comfortable, that’s absolutely okay. Of course, this may make it more difficult when you do eventually start driving alone but for some, it’s more of a comfort to have someone with them, to begin with.
- Regularly Get Your Car Serviced
Staying safe of the road is important, which is why you need to get your car serviced as regularly as possible. This ensures that your car is safe to drive, giving you peace of mind during your first few years as a driver.
To learn more about getting your car serviced, you can try visiting this site here.
- Drive With The Radio Off
Having the radio on when you first pass your test could be considered a major distraction and if it’s not something you’re used to it could completely throw you off. Wait until you feel confident enough driving on your own before you switch the radio on and start listening to music as you drive.
If you want to start small, you can always try driving with the radio at low volume, only turning it up when you feel comfortable enough.
- Consider Taking Online Traffic School As Extra Practice
Although you will have passed your test and be able to drive alone, you may feel much more comfortable if you take extra online courses. There are lots of different traffic school online courses that you can take from the comfort of your own home, refreshing you on everything practical you learnt during driver’s ed. These are often an inexpensive way to ensure you’re 100% ready to be on the road or a way to refresh yourself if it’s been a while since you passed your test.
- Resist Peer Pressure
If you’re going to be going out with your friends not long after passing your test, try to resist into peer pressure if they ask you to do something dangerous. Having a friend get their licence can be new and exciting for those that are still young, and often peer pressure can cause some serious accidents. Let them know that when you’re driving, you’re in control.
- Let Someone Know Where You’re Going For The First Few Weeks
When you first pass your test and start taking your car out, it might be worth letting someone know where you’re going, just in case. It’s not likely something bad will happen when you’re out and about, but for both yours and your friends and families sake, it will probably help for the first few weeks.
- Take Responsibility For Your Passengers
As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure your passengers are being safe. Always ensure they have their seatbelts on and they’re sitting correctly in their seats before you start driving. If you end up getting pulled over it would be you that is prosecuted, not them.
- Check Traffic Updates For Road Closures
If you’re worried about there being any major changes or road closures as you’re travelling, keeping on top of traffic updates is a great way to prepare yourself before you get in the car. If you’re already anxious about driving, an unexpected diversion could make you feel much worse.
To check traffic updates you can visit this handy site here.
- Stick To Roads You Know Until You’re Comfortable
If you know you’re a nervous driver then for the first few weeks it might be better to stick the roads that you know. If you’re going to be driving around your hometown this will probably be quite easy to do, as long as you avoid any long journeys to unknown places! If you are planning on taking a much longer trip with your family and friends, consider waiting at least a month or so until after you’ve passed your test.
Are you a new driver who is nervous about going on the road? Let us know if you use any of our tips and tricks in the comment section below. If we missed anything, feel free to let us know!
Photo Credit: Takahiro Taguchi