Learning to drive can be just as fun as it is challenging if you’re prepared enough to feel confident when you’re on the road. There are the small hurdles like conquering your nerves when you have to drive in front of the instructor, but other than that, most new drivers find the process to be enjoyable and exciting. Then there’s the test taking aspect of it, which of course is the most boring and tedious part, yet just as important as being able to manoeuvre the vehicle and read road signs. With said, here are three tips every teen should learn on their journey to becoming a licensed driver:
1. Learn the Rules of the Road First
Before you start driving in traffic, you’re going to need to know the laws and what all the signs, signals, lights, and lines mean. At this stage you should be studying a handbook or taking driving test quizzes to strengthen your knowledge going into the official theory test. Of course, this will also prevent you from being a hazardous driver when you do step foot behind the wheel for the first time. Check this site out for a library of mock tests that will prepare you to answer all of the questions you’d encounter on any UK driving theory exam.
2. Become a Defensive Driver
Once you know the basic logistics and laws concerning the operation of a car, the next step is to learn how to co-exist with other drivers in a way that provides the most safety to yourself, your passengers, and the surrounding vehicles on the road. Defensive driving techniques involve using your field of vision and mirrors to pay attention to how other vehicles are behaving. Even though you may know and follow the laws, there’s always the possibility that another driver will not, so you need to be able to recognise and avoid reckless or inexperienced drivers to prevent unnecessary collisions. For example, when the light turns green don’t automatically assume that you can pass through the intersection without looking both ways, as someone could easy run a red light.
3. Steady and Safe is Better than Fast and Furious
While preparation is key, becoming overconfident behind the wheel can be dangerous. Oftentimes, overzealous teen drivers will enjoy the rush of fast driving and in turn become hazards on the roads – that’s why insurance companies charge young people more for their plans, because statistically teen drivers present a higher risk than adults. You might think you’re saving time or impressing your friends, but in reality a few extra minutes saved and a joy ride is not worth the potential consequences. Ultimately, all that matters is that you make it safely to your destination without being cited by the police or involved an accident, and stats show that fast drivers crash and receive more tickets than drivers who travel at or around the posted speed limit. On the other hand, you don’t want to drive below the speed limit, so learn to glance at your speedometer occasionally.
Bonus Tip – Don’t Succumb to Peer Pressure
Most teens have no problem being calm and responsible drivers when they’re by themselves or with their parents. The problem of the “fast and furious teen driver” typically arises when you have multiple teens in the same vehicle fuelling the “fun.” Don’t be a follower and let your friends influence you to the point of wrecking your car or getting a ticket – that’s not cool, it’s dumb.