Five Important Habits That New Drivers Should Learn

Posted on: 12 January 2017

For many youngsters getting a driver's license is a rite of passage. It finally gives them some freedom to enjoy the open road and specifically "go places." Yet this activity should not be taken for granted, as it is a privilege. With this privilege comes a lot of responsibility. What are the main habits that you need to develop when learning to drive, in order to be as safe as possible?

Understanding the Big Picture

While few young drivers will end up being as competent behind the wheel as Daniel Ricciardo (the Australian Formula One driver, in case you didn't know), it does pay to study the technique and understand driving from a more holistic perspective. You should have at least a basic understanding of how the car works and should ensure that you develop as much confidence as possible. This doesn't mean overconfidence, of course as this can be dangerous in itself. But the opposite is also true, as a timid driver can get themselves into more accidents.

Slowing Down

As boring as it may sound to say it, you've got to stick to the speed limit. You've got to know what speed you should be driving at. Speed limit signs are not always in evidence, but generally speaking when you're in an urban or developed area, stick to 50 km/h.

No Texting!

Always focus on the road ahead. This is becoming increasingly important as the smart phone becomes a critical part of everybody's life. If somebody pings you with a text message, ignore it. It's tempting to try and fire off a quick reply, but this has been shown to be almost as dangerous as driving while impaired. You've got to keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes ahead.

Staying Awake

Australia is a very big country and if you plan to head off on a cross-country trip as soon as you get your licence, remember that a tired driver can be a liability. Tiredness is a major factor in road fatalities, so you need to plan your trip so that you stop periodically, take a break, eat some food and even have a quick nap.

Total Sobriety

Finally, never be tempted to have "one for the road" or even any drinks whatsoever when you know that you have to drive. This includes having a party the night before, when you've got to get behind the wheel early in the morning. It's best to go for a zero tolerance approach and remember that the drink-driving laws in Australia are very punitive. You don't want to lose the right to drive the car so soon after passing your test.

For more information, contact a local driving school.