Even after you’ve got your license and you’re still getting used to driving without a parent or an instructor, you’ll probably find yourself making a few little mistakes. Don’t worry, everyone does it! Having said that, there are certain mistakes that learners seem to make again and again. Here are a few to make sure you’re ironing out.
Forgetting to Signal
When you’re not used to driving, there’s a lot going on. You’re going to be put off by the surrounding traffic, signage and pedestrians, and using the indicators whenever it’s necessary can easily slip your mind. Still, when you learn to drive, letting all the drivers around you know what you’re about to do is extremely important for your safety, and the safety of everyone else on the road. The same goes for cancelling your indicators if they don’t cancel themselves once you turn a corner.
Crossing your Hands
Whenever you’re moving the steering wheel, it’s important to make sure you’re feeding the wheel through your hands, rather than reaching over and crossing your hands on the wheel. Doing this can get you marked down on your test. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, you should be keeping your hands at the “ten to two” position, and steering in firm, controlled movements, rather than letting the wheel slip haphazardly through your grip.
When you’re getting used to driving, you may find it difficult to judge stopping distances, and when you should begin applying your brakes in any given situation. This, combined with the general nerves, can cause a lot of newbie drivers to brake sharply and create a hazard on the road. When you brake sharply and without enough warning, it causes everyone else around you to brake sharply, which can be dangerous for obvious reasons. Be sure to brake gently and leave plenty of time for the drivers around you to react.
Cutting People Off on Roundabouts
A lot of common learner errors are down to nerves and a lack of confidence, but this issue is often rooted in the opposite problem – loving driving too much and being too eager to prove yourself. It’s good to get confident with roundabouts, but if you’re not thinking enough on your approach to one, you could cut other drivers off, which is both dangerous and extremely rude. The most important thing to remember is to give way to the right, and always stick to your lane.
Forgetting your Mirrors and Blindspots
Like signals, this is another little detail that slips a lot of people’s mind, as they’re too distracted with everything else that’s going on. However, checking your mirrors is a very important habit to get into. Your instructor will probably drum “mirror, signal, manoeuvre” into you as best they can, but you should be trying to take initiative as well. Always check your blind spot before you move off, and check your mirrors before turning.