Learning to drive can be an incredibly stressful experience, particularly for younger drivers who are hitting the roads for the very first time. However, it’s often underestimated just how much of that stress and pressure is transferred to the instructors in charge of these tentative new drivers. This is particularly true given the cost of driving instructor insurance. That’s why we thought it was time to give these unsung heroes their due and examine the most dangerous mistakes learners make during lessons. New drivers take note!
It’s so overwhelming – The most common mistake many first-time drivers are guilty of is simply being overwhelmed by the vehicle itself. Because they are so excited and intoxicated by being in control of a vehicle for the first time, they can pay more attention to the car than they pay to the road and this often leads to accidents.
Pushy parents – Another mistake many young learner drivers are guilty of is bringing their parents along for the ride. There is nothing worse than a backseat driver and when that backseat driver just so happens to be your mum and dad, it’s going to put a lot more pressure on you. So don’t bring your mum along, even if she insists.
Bay parking – Even your parents probably struggle with this one still!
Going too slow – It can be just as dangerous to go too slow as it is to go too fast. You might be wary of remaining within speed limits (which is perfectly understandable) but if your instructor tells you to put your foot down a bit, don’t hesitate!
Neglecting the blind spots – You might have been taken out a few times in your friend’s car or your parent’s car, but every car is different and will have different blind spots to come to terms with. Of course, some modern cars have blind assist technology, but don’t assume your instructor’s car will. Every new car requires readjustment. This is something even experienced drivers should take heed of!
Forgetting signals – One of the most dangerous mistakes that learners make is to completely forget to signal when turning. This will often lead to collisions. Start by practising signalling in a stationary car so you get the hang of it.
Avoiding the hand brake – Many first-time drivers take a while to assimilate to the concept of the hand brake. It is dangerous, however, to park on an incline without using it or continuously revving the engine, as you’re putting an immense amount of strain on the gearbox.
Stalling – Even the most experienced of drivers will stall from time to time, but when a learner driver does it, they tend to panic and it creates a domino effect of problems.
Ignoring mirrors – Watching the road is the most important aspect of driving, but you’re not just watching what’s going on in front of you. You also need to pay attention to what’s happening behind and to the side of you and that means checking your mirrors on a regular basis.
Roundabouts – We all know they can be intimidating! Relax. Breathe and listen to your instructor!
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