1st CENTRAL’s safety tips for young drivers

Newly qualified drivers can face all kinds of challenges when trying to stay safe on the road

When you’ve just passed your test, there can be a lot to think about.

Not only do you have to remember all the rules you’ve learnt and how to actually use your car, but you’ve also got to contend with a whole new set of dangers and distractions.

It’s no mean feat, but we think that by bearing a few simple pointers in mind, it’s possible to stay safe on the road and keep your risk of having an accident to a minimum.

Stay focused
Driving safely is all about staying focused on the task at hand. The minute you let your mind wander, you immediately put yourself at risk.

With so much going on outside the car, it’s essential to keep distractions inside to a minimum.

For this reason, keep music turned down to a low level and turn your phone off too. Remember that it’s illegal to use your mobile behind the wheel anyway and you don’t want the temptation of responding to a message or a call.

Limit passenger numbers
Once you’ve passed your test, a whole new world of freedom is opened up to you and you’ll most likely want to share this with others by giving your friends and family lifts.

While this is fine, it’s worth bearing in mind that the more people you have in your car, the harder the vehicle will be to control.

That’s why it can help to keep passenger numbers to just one or two and avoid driving around with a car full of people whenever possible.

The more people you have with you when you’re driving, the easier it will be to become distracted, so limiting passengers will also help you to stay focused.

Drive slowly
When you drive at a higher speed, you reduce the time you’ll have to react quickly in the event of an accident, so avoid going too fast at all times.

Some impatient drivers will often start to tailgate, even when other motorists are sticking to the speed limit. But try to stand your ground and keep to a speed at which you feel comfortable.

Stay away from alcohol
Don’t risk losing your licence when you’ve only just got it by drinking before you get behind the wheel.

Remember, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the drink-drive limit is set at 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. In Scotland, it’s even lower.

There are strict penalties if you are caught over the limit, which mean you could face three months in prison, a fine of up to £2,500 and a driving ban.

Keep learning
Just because you’ve passed your test, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop learning.

You can take advanced driving courses with several different organisations to really take your skills to the next level and boost your confidence. Have a look at the courses offered by the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Find out more about young driver car insurance.

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