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Chloe Martell

August 27, 2019

Driving advice News 4 min read

Whilst the freedom of the road is something we all long for, there are many pressures that young drivers today feel when they’re behind the wheel. With 56% of young drivers planning on hitting the road this year for a road trip, we wanted to look at the pressures and distractions young drivers have behind the wheel, and try to give tips on preventing them.

1

Overtaking another vehicle

Almost half of the young drivers (42%) who took our survey* agreed – there is a lot of pressure to overtake other vehicles, and we may not always feel comfortable doing so. You may be stuck behind a lorry or slower car who is going 10 or 20 mph under the speed limit. You can see other drivers getting irritated, and they proceed to overtake them – simple, right? Well no, not always. It takes confidence and skill to overtake, especially if you’re on a single carriageway. You have to be very clear that you can go, you need to be fast and you need to be safe – there’s a lot to think about! Here are our top tips for overtaking safely

  • Don’t overtake unless you’re absolutely certain it’s clear, and there is enough time for you to pass the vehicle in front safely
  • Don’t let the pressure of other vehicles overtaking affect you. If you’re not confident, don’t go
  • If you decide to overtake, consider dropping a gear. This will help you to build up your speed and overtake quickly and efficiently

2

Chatting to passengers

The first road trip with your friends after passing your test is something you’re probably dreaming of – however, 40% of young drivers said that they found chatting with passengers to be distracting. You can feel an undue pressure to join in conversations and get on board with the banter when you’re driving, but unfortunately, this can distract you from the drive. At the end of the day, you’re operating a machine that’s going fast down the road – you’re in control of your safety, your passenger’s safety and that of everyone else on the road – it’s a pretty big deal. So whilst you may be determined to get in on the ‘road trip’ selfie, you need to put your driving concentration first. Here are our top tips for keeping this pressure at bay

  • Speak to your passengers before you head off. Explain you need to concentrate, and ask them to keep distraction to a minimum
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up when driving if the chatty distractions become too much
  • Take regular breaks in your journey. Keeping calm and concentrating for long periods of time can be exhausting, so blow off some steam at a service station with your pals before heading back off on the road

3

Playing music too loudly

Now we all love a sing-a-long of some sort on the road, whether we like to admit it or not. But whether you’re a west-end wannabe or a secret lover of the Mama Mia soundtrack, sometimes if the music is too loud, it can be very distracting for the driver – and 29% of young people agree. There’s a fine line between enjoying the road trip playlist and letting it distract you. Many young drivers can feel pressured to play the music too loudly in the car – so we’ve pulled together some tips to help

  • Pull together a playlist before setting off, chosen by all passengers so there’s no arguing of the song, and set a volume for the whole journey
  • If you haven’t set a playlist, choose a radio station. That way, no one has control of the song choice and you can all listen to the music in the background
  • If the music becomes too distracting, don’t be afraid to turn it down or off. Your concentration on the road and keeping everyone safe is much more important than the UK’s Top 10

There we have it – the top three biggest pressures that young drivers feel. Unfortunately, there are many more than this. These, mixed with distractions on the road can lead to accidents, so Marmalade’s top tip is to keep your cool, keep control and be confident – you’ve got this!

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*Research conducted by Fly Research, on behalf of Marmalade in June 2019 with 1,000 UK drivers under the aged of 30.

Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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