Getting your driver’s license is exciting and a milestone moment in your life. Being able to drive and head out onto the road yourself brings a sense of freedom and enables you to do so much more. Being able to go where you want, when you want, is liberating, but as a new driver, you may be feeling a little anxious about heading out in your vehicle on your own during your first weeks as a new driver. Even though you have gained your driver’s license, driving on your own can still feel like a steep learning curve. Over the coming weeks, your driving skills will continue to develop as you gain further experience. Keeping yourself and other road users safe should be every driver’s first priority, so understanding how you can play your part in making this happen is essential. Here is how you can help to keep yourself safe on the road as a new driver:
Driving when you feel tired or have not had a good night’s sleep is potentially dangerous and puts you and other roads users at risk. Estimated figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that approximately 100,000 road traffic crashes occur each year due to drowsy driving. This figure is based on the number of collisions reported to the police, so the actual figure could be far higher than the NHTSA estimate. Past research shows that many fatigue-related crashes are caused by drivers under the age of 25 years, so as a new driver, it is crucial to be aware of the dangers of driving when tired. Ensuring you get a good night’s sleep before driving and reading medication warnings to check for side effects such as drowsiness are vital to keeping you alert when driving.
Look Out for Other Road Users
Being aware of other road users is essential, and it is something every new driver needs to be mindful of. But, as you grow more used to driving, it is vital you don’t become complacent. Looking out for other road users and ensuring you are aware of pedestrians should become a habit, and if you keep making a conscious effort, it should soon come as second nature to you. Being aware of motorcycle riders and bicycle riders is vital, as, in the event of a collision, bicycle accident injuries can be extremely severe. Cyclists and motorbike riders can be hard to spot, so paying particular attention to them will help you to keep both you and them safe.
Keep Your Vehicle Maintained
Keeping up with vehicle maintenance and ensuring that your vehicle is in a road-worthy condition every time you drive is essential. Failing to keep your car in the best condition and ignoring potential signs that it is unsafe can have serious consequences. Getting any repair work that is needed completed quickly is essential to ensure your car is safe to drive and that it does not impact your safety or other road users.