Good driving is about being safe for you, your passengers and for those around you. And for you to drive safely, it’s essential that you get the common, basic driver mistakes out of the way and establish good discipline when it comes to hitting the road. Remember, driving safely is not only important for yourself, but also for your loved ones as well as other people on the road.
So, what are some common mistakes drivers make? And how can you avoid them? Let’s find out!
- Driving a car without a comprehensive insurance plan.
Before you even hit the road, it’s important that your vehicle is insured. And you shouldn’t just get any insurance — it’s important to get insured from a reliable insurer that provides comprehensive insurance for your vehicle.
And what do we mean by comprehensive insurance? Well, in addition to covering damage from an accident, your insurance plan should ideally cover damage from theft, storm, fire, flood, and any damage that you might cause to another car. More importantly, having comprehensive car insurance comes in very handy when someone else damages your vehicle, with or without you knowing.
A basic mistake is to get stingy on insurance and relying on third party insurance, without comprehensive damage coverage. Having an insurance company on your side when you’re not at fault can help you save both time, money and stress because knowing that your car is insured against every possible damage will bring you peace of mind and calm down your nerves, something that can greatly improve your driving (and make it safer) when you’re starting out. There are many great insurance companies out there and you can click here to get a quote from a reputable insurer like NRMA.
- Neglecting tyre maintenance.
Tyres are the most important aspect of your car — after all, they’re the part that’s in contact with the ground. And many new drivers make the common mistake of neglecting tyre maintenance. The most basic rule of tyre maintenance is replacing your tyre as soon as you think something’s wrong with it.
Don’t wait out and make things worse — because the longer you drive with a tyre that’s not in perfect condition (for e.g. it might be underinflated), the more damage you cause to it, and the more costly repairs are going to be.
Also, one tyre parameter that you should regularly monitor is the tread depth. You might have noticed that your tyres have grooves in them. These grooves are meant to sequester water on a wet surface and allow the ridges to come into contact with the road.
If they’re too shallow, your car could slip and get out of control on wet surfaces easily. For more information on tread depth, click here.
- Driving with under- or over-inflated tyres.
You might not know this but the pressure inside your tyres determines your experience on the road to a large extent. Having the wrong pressures can also hasten the wear and tear a tyre experiences.
For example, if your tyres are under-inflated (meaning the pressure inside them is less than ideal), this could lead to an increased chance of the tyre getting separated from the rim if exposed to too much force laterally.
If you’re tyre is over-inflated, however, you’re going to have a bumpy ride. That’s because over-inflated tyres don’t absorb the ups and downs of the road too well, transmitting those bumps to the suspensions of your car. In addition to giving a bumpy drive, this could increase the rate at which your suspensions deteriorate.
If you want to learn more about tyre pressures and how to keep them appropriate, read this article.
- Delaying the repair of a chipped windscreen.
This can be a fatal mistake because a chipped windscreen can obscure your view while driving and put you in serious danger.
Plus, delaying the repair of a chipped windscreen can cost you quite some money. That’s because a small chip or a crack can quickly become large due to temperature changes, vibrations, or excessive movement and forces when you’re on the road.
So a small chip that would take only 20 minutes to get repaired could easily convert into a hefty windscreen replacement bill. The choice is yours — road safety and cheap repair vs putting yourself and others in danger and paying a hefty repair price!
- Changing lanes when turning.
This is a classic rookie mistake and it’s not only extremely annoying to experience on the road but can also cause serious collisions and damage. Some people take turns that are too wide or too narrow, causing them to slide into an adjacent lane while executing the turn. And because they don’t intend to change lanes, their indicators are off, causing the possibility of a collision.
To avoid this, you should ensure that you stay in your lane while making the turn and once you’ve completed the turn, indicate that you’re going to change the lane if that’s what you wish to do.