Getting your driver’s license is only the start to becoming a confident, reliable, and good driver. Most of the real learning of how to drive comes from when you have passed and are driving around without your trusted driving instructor. So, if you have just recently passed or are in the process of doing so, here are 6 key facts that every new driver needs to know.
Fact No. 1: Driving In Bad Weather Can Be Hard
This will come as no surprise, however, it is often underestimated just how tricky it can be when driving in bad weather conditions. Your theory test will have taught you a lot about driving and braking in rain/snow conditions, but all too often new drivers make the mistake of not taking it seriously.
It all depends on what you are used to, and what you have been exposed to. For instance, someone who lives in a country that always snows will be very used to driving in the snow and on ice. However, if you are used to driving in light, dry conditions then you need to drive with more caution than you normally would.
Fact No. 2: Driving Anxiety Is Normal
Experiencing anxiety when driving or thinking about driving is very normal, across all levels of drivers. There are many options available to help with anxiety, including exposure therapy, hypnosis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and more. Each of these approaches is very effective, you just have to find the one that works best for you. There is absolutely no shame in experiencing anxiety and it is a very common response, as evolutionary speaking, fear exists to keep us safe.
Fact No. 3: Rules And Regulations Will Change
Over time, laws, rules, and regulations are going to adapt and change. For example, once upon a time, you were allowed to drink and drive, use your mobile phone while driving, and not wear a seatbelt. Granted each of these has been illegal for a while, with the most recent of them being the mobile phone bans being introduced first in 2003 in the UK. What started as a £100 fine, changed in 2007 to a £100 fine with three points on your license, and changed once again in 2017 to a £200 fine and 6 points on your license. If you are based in America, then this can get even more confusing as rules vary from state to state. The point here is that the rules are going to change more regularly than you think and you need to stay up to date so that you don’t end up unknowingly breaking the law.
Fact No. 4: Everyone Gets Distracted
Everyone can get distracted behind the wheel, if you are someone who distracts more easily than others then try reducing the number of distractions around you. Place your phone out of reach, keep the music down to a minimum and ask friends to be respectful. If you are a young new driver, often the expectations to drive all your friends around can be quite significant, but just make sure you are paying attention to the road and your driving as opposed to the rubbish joke your friend is making in the back seat.
Fact No. 5: Car Insurance Can Be Costly
Again, most people will not be surprised by this, but it is important to know what you are in for when buying a new car. Car insurance can be costly, especially for a new driver as insurance companies don’t have a track record to base their pricing on. So they tend to play it safe and amp up the cost just in case.
One way to reduce car insurance costs is to consider getting a black box in your car. Black Box insurance is when you have a box fitted in your car that measures how fast you drive, where you drive, and how often you drive. With this data, insurance companies calculate a quote personalized to you.
Fact No. 6: Every Vehicle Is Different
Every vehicle is different, and just because you might be a pro at driving your own car doesn’t mean you will automatically be a great driver in someone else’s car. There are differences between automatic cars and manual cars, old cars and new ones, etc. So whenever you get into a new vehicle, take the time to get to know it and warm yourself up in it before embarking on any long or complicated journeys.
The bottom line is that all drivers, new or old, need to take the time to stay up to date with driving rules and regulations and to be as safe as they can be when out on the roads.