There is no feeling in the world quite like passing your driving test and this is the start of a new chapter in your life. While there is a lot to be excited about, it can also be daunting and it is important to know that new drivers are at greater risk than more experienced motorists.
New Drivers at Risk
New drivers are at greater risk because they are more likely to be in an accident and this could be for a few reasons. Inexperience is a major reason why and research shows that it takes around 1,000 miles before a motorist will be better equipped to recognize potential hazards. Other common reasons for new drivers being involved in accidents include overconfidence, driver fatigue, distraction and driving under the influence.
Getting experience is obviously key, but you also need to take a few steps to make the roads as safe as possible before setting off.
Check the Tyres
You should always check the tyres, especially before a long drive. This will include checking the tyre tread depth, topping up the pressure if needed and examining the tyres for signs of damage.
Check the Fluids
The fluids are vital for the cars functionality and you should be checking these on a regular basis to protect the vehicle and yourself. The key fluids to check include:
- Engine oil
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Windscreen washer fluid
You should also check that all of your lights are working properly on a regular basis as otherwise you could be endangering yourself, other road users and pedestrians. Always check your lights and get them replaced if you have any issues.
As mentioned before, distractions are a common reason for new motorists being involved in accidents so you should try to eliminate distractions. This might mean driving by yourself, turning the radio off and putting your phone on Do Not Disturb While Driving mode. Additionally, never drive when you are feeling fatigued or if you are over the limit (it is generally best to avoid even 1 drink).
Insurance & Warranty Protection
Finally, you need to make sure that you have the right protection in place in case you were to have an accident or breakdown. Car insurance is obviously a legal requirement, but you should also make sure that you have an extended warranty in place if the manufacturer warranty has expired for financial protection in the event of an electrical or mechanical breakdown.
New drivers are at greater risk of being in an accident, which is why it is so important that they take steps to protect themselves and other road users before setting off. Hopefully, this checklist will help you to be a safe and confident driver on the roads while you build experience.