Unfortunately, quite often after people pass their driving test, they can pick up some bad habits on the road, and stop driving as safely as they should be. Whether this is no longer taking all of the extra precautions that should be taken, or forgetting to do things, careless driving can cause accidents, which is why it is essential that you always take extra care on the road and don’t let bad habits get the better of you. All of us want the roads to be a safe place, and you must play your own part in that, and ensure that you are always being careful.
As it is such an important topic, we wanted to give you a few tips on how to remain a safe driver after passing your test, to minimise the risk of being involved or causing any accidents.
This is probably the one thing that people become most lazy with after they pass their test and have been driving for a while. However, every check is crucial and really could save your life. This includes when you’re overtaking, pulling out into the road, driving close to a cycle lane – anything! Checking your mirrors should be done at all times and in every situation so that you remain aware of everything around you. Furthermore, you should also always be aware of your blind spots and ensure that you are checking those when necessary.
This is another thing that people sometimes become lazy with after passing their driving test. However, we have signals for a reason. Without signalling, no other vehicles or pedestrians around us will know what action we are about to take, and this is very careless and dangerous. For example, if you switch lanes to overtake but don’t signal to inform other drivers, another car may also switch lanes and end up colliding with you as they were not aware that you were about to do that. Whether you’re turning out of a junction, pulling over, switching lanes, every direction or action you take in driving requires you to indicate this to everyone else around you.
Tailgating is a big issue in driving and a very bad habit. As you should know from the highway code, there are standard stopping distances you must leave between yourself and the driver in front, and this varies when weather conditions change. Generally speaking, you should leave 1ft per 1mph, and in wet weather this should double, and when there’s snow and ice this should increase by x10. Leaving plenty of stopping distance means that if anything happens, you have plenty of time to stop and react.
Your seatbelt is there to protect you, and in extreme cases such as crashes, it can literally save your life as well as reduce risk of serious injury. Therefore, you cannot afford to drive without wearing one. The majority of people always wear a seatbelt, but sometimes it can become a bad habit like on short journeys, and this is something we strongly advise against.
As I’m sure you well know, using a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal, and rightly so. There are a high percentage of road accidents each and every year that happen as a result of people using their mobile phone behind the wheel. You can now lose your driving license if caught using your mobile phone whilst in control of a vehicle. This rules out any contact with your phone whatsoever; no calling people, texting, checking social media, or even touching the phone. It is a huge distraction and responsible for causing many crashes.