If you've just passed your test - our advice and information for new drivers will increase your confidence and learn new skills like Motorway Driving and more
By Chloe Martell
Updated on Dec 4th, 2020
Once you’ve got over the initial excitement of passing your test – you may feel a bit anxious about driving on your own after having the reassurance of your parent or driving instructor in the passenger seat. You may not be quite ready to try driving on the motorway on the day after you pass – the idea of this article is to offer information and advice, as and when you need it, on how to increase your confidence, develop your driving skills and start your new adventure on the open road. Here are some helpful tips for new drivers who have recently passed their test...
Once you’ve passed, you’ll no longer be driving your instructor’s car that you’ve become familiar with. Whether you’ve got your hands on your own car, or you’re driving the family car, it’s essential that you spend time becoming familiar with how it works. Find the switches that change your dipped headlights to full beam, figure out which switch puts your window wipers on, check where the hazard button is. It sounds silly, but instinctively knowing where these things are when you’re actually driving could be the difference between having an accident or not.
One day we will all have to face our fears and head out on the road when the weather is bad. Be it wind and rain, or snow and ice – driving in these conditions can be extremely challenging but not impossible. Spend time practising this as much as you can as a new driver. Take your time, and maybe even take a parent with you! You’ll be thankful that you learned how to deal with adverse weather when you’ve got time, and not on your timed morning commute.
Once you’ve passed your test, you don’t have to hop in the car and tackle the driving completely by yourself. If it helps you feel more confident, take a parent or experienced driver with you on your first few trips. Having said that, it’s also super important that you do make trips by yourself. Don’t worry – you don’t have to head across the country solo as soon as you get your full licence – but little trips to the shops by yourself is a great way to build up confidence.
We all dream of having the ‘music up, windows down and wind in our hair’ moment when we’re learning to drive (trust us, it will come) but as a new driver, it isn’t the time just yet. Concentration is crucial – let’s face it, you’re in charge of a car! If you’re not completely confident, keep the music off. You’ll get to a point where you can have the radio on with no issues at all.
At some point, you will have to drive on your own, drive in adverse weather conditions and even take to the motorway. Put a plan together of where you want your driving journey to take you to help build your confidence as a new driver. Maybe you want to be able to drive to a friends house at the end of the month, but don’t have the confidence to do it yet? Short but regular journeys on different types of roads will help you build up skill and confidence to get you where you want to be in no time.
We recently did some research which showed that over half of young drivers (54%*) said they’ve felt pressured by passengers to overtake or break the speed limit when driving. These are difficult things to deal with even if you’re a bit more experienced behind the wheel, so as a less confident new driver, these pressures can be life-threatening. We’re not saying you can never pick your friends up – I mean come on, you’re probably desperate for a road trip with your pals, just take some time to become a bit more confident as a driver before planning any too extensive.
As a new driver, it’s likely you don’t know the ins and outs of the roads surrounding you. Let’s face it, you’ve not had much reason to learn them up until now! This is the time to figure out your surroundings and learn as many different routes as possible, especially if it’s ones you’ll be doing regularly. Sat Navs are great (I know I couldn’t live without mine) but for those routes, you’ll be taking often, it’s best to figure them out as quickly as possible – saving your Sat Nav for journeys further afield.
In fact, this is the start of you becoming a great driver! You’ll learn so much as you head off on the roads, but it also means you may start to pick up some bad habits which in turn can lead to accidents, which means it’s probably a good idea to keep hold of the Highway Code to refer back to when you need to.
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