What are the main mistakes beginner drivers make
Experienced drivers say that a novice driver can always be seen with the naked eye. But it is normal when a person just sits behind the wheel, tries to be as careful as possible, or behaves insecurely.
Everyone started with this at some point. Here is important experience, the ability to learn from other people’s and your own mistakes, to correct inaccuracies in driving and behavior in the car.
There are several major mistakes of beginner drivers, which are definitely worth paying attention to. This will allow you to understand what a person is doing wrong behind the wheel, and how to correct the situation for the better.
Keep in mind one simple truth. It is impossible to become a master driver in a few days, who never makes mistakes, drives perfectly correctly and is exemplary. Even people with a great experience of driving still periodically repeat the same mistakes as beginners. It is always necessary to keep learning, improving and repeating the traffic regulations.
The problem of pulling over
It so happens that beginners behind the wheel are very afraid of the vehicles around them. Because of this, they sometimes unconsciously try to pull closer to the curb. And often such behavior is caused by the low level of professionalism of the instructor, who trained the person in a driving school.
It is the attitude to teaching in driving schools that often leads to typical mistakes of beginning drivers. A beginner feels safe when pulling over to the side of the road. But it is a mistaken feeling, as in reality to move too close to the edge is not recommended.
Such behavior increases the likelihood of driving onto sidewalks, hitting pedestrians, and causing a puncture. All sorts of debris often accumulates on the curb, among which you may find pieces of glass, plastic, some nails and other sharp objects. All this entails at least the need to change the wheel.
Learn to move strictly in the lane, not to squeeze anywhere. This will give room for other road users to maneuver, and also will not allow your space to be impaired when moving.
Another common occurrence is when the driver is completely focused on driving. No one says that the beginner should look around, consider the beauty of the surrounding world or read the information from billboards.
But full concentration on the road leads to the fact that the novice motorist misses important road signs. As a result, it turns out to be a fine for speeding, for driving under a brick, or for parking in a wrong place.
The driver is obliged to distribute his attention to the road situation and signs at the same time. They are specially made large and bright enough that allows you to pay attention to them in time. It is necessary to learn to look not in one point, but to distribute on wider space. This allows you to cover the road itself, as well as everything that is located along the curb.
Among the common mistakes made by novice drivers is definitely the problem of loud music. Nobody forbids the driver to listen to his favorite songs or turn on the radio while driving. Not for nothing, because all car manufacturers install corresponding audio systems even in the base complete set.
But it is better for beginners to refuse such pleasure for a while and pay more attention to driving. You should turn on music when you are on the highway with a minimum number of cars around you.
In the city it is better to turn on the radio or music at minimum volume. This is not only because music is distracting, it sometimes makes you sing along and dance at the wheel. It’s not the biggest problem.
The biggest threat is the fact that because of the music, the driver does not hear what is going on around him, ignoring the signals of other drivers. It is a direct threat for accidents and crashes.
If you turn on your audio system, only at a volume that will not drown out signals and sounds from outside. It will allow you to timely slow down or make the right maneuver.
And not only beginners sin with it. Many drivers, who are well over a year behind the wheel, often turn on the music at maximum speed, thereby endangering themselves and other road users. There are already a number of initiatives to introduce large fines for too loud music in the car. And for many objective reasons this would be the right decision.
Failure to comply with speed limits
The mistake of beginners behind the wheel, related to speed, looks quite interesting. In fact, here it is possible to allocate at once two absolutely opposite problems.
- Too low speed. It is more widespread when a beginner is afraid of pressing the gas pedal once more and tries to drive at low speed. Everything is good when he strictly observes the speed limits on a stretch of road. But the situation is quite different if he moves too slowly where it is not forbidden to accelerate. This behavior may lead to congestion and traffic jams, sometimes even on those sections where they never occur in principle. Excessive slowness is also dangerous. At least, with foul language addressed to the driver, to which not everybody can adequately react.
- Too high speed. There is also an opposite situation, when a person, only having received the license, at once tries to squeeze the maximum from the car. And it is a huge mistake, as driving at high speeds provides obligatory presence of corresponding experience, knowledge of possibilities and features of the car. Consequences of speeding can be very different, ranging from uncontrollable drifting and driving into the wrong lane, ending with crashing out of the road and serious accidents.
Read also: How a driver should act correctly in a skid, depending on the type of vehicle’s drive
As you can clearly see, both situations are equally bad for novice drivers. Yes, excessive caution and low speed is the safer option, but it doesn’t lead to anything good either.
You need to learn to move in the flow, not slow it down and create dangerous situations by speeding up or slowing down.
Many mistakes made by drivers that have led to accidents and various traffic accidents on the road are often related to the use of rearview mirrors. To be more precise, with and ignoring or improper application.
When driving on the road in the city or on the highway, the driver is required to periodically look in the rear and side mirrors. Even in situations where he is not going to make maneuvers or overtaking. This rule is taught back in driving schools. But for some reason many motorists forget it. It turns out very unpleasant situations.
If you don’t look in the mirrors, it is possible to provoke a serious accident, because a beginner simply can not see what is happening behind him. Trying to overtake or rerun, but without looking back, the car behind can easily be driven into by another car at high speed.
Look in the mirrors always when there is a potential danger of colliding with someone. It concerns not only cars and public roads, but also parking places, parking lots, exits from the yards of apartment houses.
The driver is obliged to look in mirrors at a level of instincts. At first, it may seem difficult, because when looking in the mirror you have to be distracted from the situation on the road. But everything comes with experience. It is only important to remember that ignoring the rearview mirrors is extremely dangerous for all road users.
The list of widespread mistakes of beginner drivers may also include situations when beginners keep very close to the vehicles ahead of them.
Not always the driver, just after getting his license, can accurately calculate the distance to the car ahead of him. And when there is a need for emergency braking, the distance is not enough to activate the braking system, resulting in an accident.
The driver is obliged to keep an optimal distance. And it applies not only to those cars that are ahead, but also to those at your side. According to the experts, the distance should be kept in such a way that it would be possible to reach the car in 2 seconds. But this rule is not always observed, because the dense urban stream doesn’t provide so much space. And the speed of cars is different.
Here you need to show a little egoism, and observe the distance that you consider safe and correct. Let even the cars behind you, or rather their drivers, be against it.
The problem with clutch operation
If we talk about the most common mistakes of novice drivers, you can not avoid the issue of the clutch pedal. An experienced chauffeur easily operates the car by moving his feet in parallel on 3 different pedals. A beginner cannot move his legs so quickly. It takes time and experience.
The clutch is the most problematic pedal in cars with manual transmissions. After all, shifting to each gear requires first depressing the clutch and then releasing and pressing the gas pedal. This technique is taught in all driving schools. And the majority of them successfully cope with this task. Otherwise, they would not have received a license.
But it is one thing when you work with the clutch pedal on a special platform or under the supervision of an instructor, and quite another when you find yourself on the road.
Repeatedly you can see the car starts to start, and then immediately stops. It starts up again, sort of squeezes the throttle, jerks, and stops again. A series of failed attempts makes the beginner even more nervous. Not surprisingly, since he is being chased by other drivers behind him, and definitely not expressing words of encouragement.
To learn how to work quickly on the clutch pedal is possible. To do this, you need to practice. But there is another solution to the problem, which is now becoming increasingly popular. We are talking about buying a car with an automatic transmission. Here there is no clutch pedal, and therefore the problem disappears by itself.
The problem of insufficient experience and weak study of own automobile opportunities. The beginner driver does not feel his car yet, and therefore cannot distribute braking and acceleration correctly.
It seems to a beginner that there is a lot of free space ahead, the green light of the traffic light is on, and it is possible to accelerate. But suddenly the traffic light starts blinking, and the speed is decent. Nothing else is left but to hit the brake pedal sharply.
There are special theoretical and practical classes where the issue of gradual braking is considered. Instructors tell you that you must brake in advance, anticipating changes in the road situation. It is too dangerous to try to stop the car at the last moment. Especially, when the road is wet, covered with snow or icy. This significantly increases the braking distance.
The brake pedal is very important in matters of traffic safety. So learn to brake smoothly, starting to stop in advance, slowing slightly to a minimum speed to approach an intersection or the entrance to the turn.
Abrupt braking not only harms the braking system and vehicle suspension. Stopping in such a way in front of the following cars, the drivers simply do not have time to react to your decision. As a result, a beginner will be hit from behind. And the one who braked sharply will be guilty. The driver from behind didn’t have a chance. Although, there is a question about the distance.
Extremely common mistakes of novice drivers are related to the fact that they forget about the difference in the condition of the roadway depending on the weather. Because of such mistakes by motorists, other road users may also suffer.
It is important to understand and remember that dry and wet asphalt is perceived differently by cars, the traction with the roadway changes, the braking system works differently.
The driver must adapt to the current weather conditions by choosing a driving style. The weather affects a number of factors. Namely:
- clutch operation;
- braking distance;
- distance; .
When the car moves on dry asphalt, the braking distance is one distance. But once the road gets wet, this distance will increase by 1.5 times. In winter and icy road, the braking distance may increase several times. And if the driver will not take it into account, there is a high probability of an accident.
Weather conditions dictate how the driver must behave while driving. The manner of driving depends a lot on the condition of the roadway, the presence of precipitation, ambient temperature. Therefore, in summer and spring motorists adhere to one style, and in winter and autumn noticeably change the manner of driving.
Moisture, ice and puddles are inherently dangerous, because you may encounter such phenomena as aquaplaning, skidding, loss of control, etc. If you even hit an icy patch with one wheel, you can lose control. Movement on such roads requires maximum concentration and competent actions from the driver.
The beginners forget about it or they just never personally felt the difference between the car behavior on summer and winter roads. And therefore a large number of accidents happen due to very trivial reasons.
Lack of sense of speed and distance
It is difficult to learn it for some practical lessons at driving schools. It requires time, development of experience and gradual improvement of sensation of own automobile.
Not in vain, experienced drivers say that it is important to feel your car, feel its dimensions, understand the peculiarities of the car’s response to the brake and gas pedals. Gradually, a beginner adapts to the vehicle, understanding how the car will behave in a particular situation.
The beginner has to be patient, careful and attentive, in order to feel the car as a result. Here it is very important to understand when it is necessary to brake, to gain speed and to maintain distance. Sometimes the driver does not feel that the car is moving too fast, and if an emergency situation arises, it simply will not have time to brake in time, because the distance to the car ahead is too small.
Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, every novice driver must understand that he becomes a full-fledged participant of the road traffic. And that means that the driver not only gets the right to drive on the roads, but also bears a certain responsibility, puts on his shoulders the duties, which should be strictly adhered to and performed.
It is irresponsibility that can be considered the main mistake or rather the problem of many drivers. Having received the license, they become overconfident, they think that they know and are able to do everything. But when they encounter real life, there is disappointment and the realization that their journey as a motorist has only just begun.
The most important thing is that this realization does not come through accidents, crashes, collisions and other tragedies on the roads. In this situation it is much better to start from other people’s mistakes and learn from their sad experience, than to make your own bumps, thus gaining the much desired experience and confidence.
No one is arguing, getting a driver’s license is indeed a momentous event in many people’s lives. But it’s not just an opportunity to get behind the wheel legally. It’s a huge responsibility and a lot of potential dangers. The culture of driving plays a big role. And it should be learned first of all. It includes knowledge of the traffic rules, compliance with the current rules, tolerance for newcomers and respect for the other participants of the road. And this includes not only motorists, but also pedestrians and cyclists.
10 novice driver mistakes that can lead to consequences
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Once you start learning to drive, there are a lot of factors to keep an eye on. Driving can be challenging for people regardless of their age. But sometimes our mistakes can be very costly: 99% of traffic accidents are caused by drivers.
Most experienced instructors know what mistakes beginners are prone to make and teach how to correct them. Here are a few examples. See which ones are common to you and get rid of the bad habits by reviewing your driving skills.
Common beginner mistakes
It’s impossible to prepare for every situation that can happen on the road. Driving can be exhilarating and enjoyable, but it can also be stressful, especially if you are new to the business. Those without enough experience should heed the advice of seasoned motorists who know all about real-life road events and are willing to share some common mistakes so you can avoid them.
1. Lack of control
You have to be physically and mentally strong to be able to focus on the road without losing touch with the world. But driving a car isn’t just about knowing how to turn the wheel and push the pedals. You have to feel it. If you cannot control the speed or have no idea how your car will behave in an emergency situation, it will sooner or later lead to an accident.
Trainees who are constantly around controllers-instructors get used to relying more on their commands and instrument readings than on their own senses. Subsequently, it is not easy for them to learn to feel the car. It takes nerves, practice, and time. The more hours you spend behind the wheel, the more quickly you will learn to drive smoothly and consistently.
Even if you have brilliant exam results and a great car, you should not succumb to the intoxicating feeling of speed and recklessly increase the engine speed. Accidents happen unexpectedly, and not always your fault, but reckless speeding can greatly increase your chances of getting into one. This is one of the main causes of accidents, the consequences of which can be fatal. You should keep a moderate pace, especially in yards and residential areas. Leave yourself enough time to react to any surprises.
Today, almost all new cars have anti-lock brakes, some sort of electronic stabilization program, traction control and systems to help avoid skidding. But the ability to judge speed is something that develops over time, and if you drive too fast for a turn or hit an unmarked patch of gravel, any electronic intervention in the world won’t give your tires extra traction. The more seriously you take it while you’re gaining experience, the better your chances of surviving such incidents.
On the other hand, some first-timers are wary of other people’s reckless driving and panic when they see a virtuoso “checkerboard player” approaching at high speed. Given the fright, they make a dangerous mistake, starting to maneuver and rearrange, clearing the way for the rushing driver. Often this becomes the cause of accidents: the one who rushes on a track full of cars, usually thinks over his steps in advance, and if suddenly to change lane in front of him, you can provoke an accident.
3. Problems with maneuvering and parking
Maneuvering in full discretion is not difficult, but in cramped conditions it is one of the most difficult tasks. From parallel parking to backing up, most new drivers find it difficult to do it right when there are plenty of other people’s eyes around. The problem is compounded by other, more experienced drivers: skillfully performing complex maneuvers, they create quite a few stressful situations for new recruits who are barely familiar with heavy traffic.
By the way, not all of them are loyal to the newcomers. There are those who make fun of them or even openly mock them. Keeping this in mind, don’t let yourself be distracted and don’t respond to other people’s provocations. But you need to practice if you don’t want to become the hero of viral YouTube videos.
Many people love loud music, but it’s the driver’s responsibility to be aware of what’s happening on the road. Adjust the volume so that you can avoid car accidents by hearing people screaming, brakes squealing, and other cars’ klaxons.
In today’s high-tech world, there are other factors that can distract people while driving – even the most experienced drivers suffer because of them. They include the speedometer, friends in the car, traffic signs and advertisements about businesses, sales and cheap furniture, as well as pedestrians, interesting objects, cell phones, uncomfortable cabin temperatures, a stiff back and a desperate need to go to the bathroom.
All of this reduces our driving efficiency: we become unable to think properly and react quickly. Some stimuli are beyond our control, but some are manageable. For example, we can avoid trying to do several tasks at once, avoid scrolling through social media and phone calls while driving, adjust the air conditioning before a trip, adjust the position of the steering wheel and the driver’s seat, stop periodically to rest on a long trip.
Many newcomers, though afraid to drive alone, avoid witnesses. Some are just shy for fear of appearing weak and inexperienced, others are angry at the criticism that makes them nervous. But at first it is still worthwhile to drive with people who have a driving experience. You can get a lot of useful tips that you were not given in driving school, and use them throughout your life.
However, the risk of an accident increases if the car is full of people: the mood and behavior of each passenger can affect the concentration of the driver. Until you gain experience, avoid transporting large companies, especially with children – it’s too risky.
Timely signaling is of the utmost importance when driving. There is nothing worse on the road than a car turning without proper warning. As a novice driver, you need to develop the habit of using stop lights and turn signals properly, not forgetting them while talking to someone in the cabin or being distracted by some road factor.
One of the most common mistakes is forgetting to turn the high beams on or off. It is important to remember that the “invisible car” in complete darkness or fog is a huge threat to the owner and to drivers nearby. But the high beam should be switched on time so as not to dazzle the drivers in the oncoming lane. Noticing that you’re not using your headlights properly may cause you to start honking or shining back.
7. Neglecting to wear a seat belt
There are people for whom the seat belt is a hindrance, but buckling up is a must. It should not be forgotten or ignored. A seat belt is specifically designed to reduce the risk of fatal injuries by distributing the force of impact over different parts of your body. It should become a habit, even if you’re going for a quick trip to the nearby grocery store.
8. Failure to maintain a safe distance
Maintaining a decent distance between cars is an important factor to always keep in mind to avoid getting into an unexpected accident. You can never be sure that the driver in front of you will not suddenly stop due to carelessness or a heart attack. Therefore, when following behind you, you should keep a reasonable distance.
9. Misinterpretation of the road.
You have a greater chance of misinterpreting the road at night than you do during the day. Optical illusions are not uncommon. They can make the road seem like it is going left when it is actually going right, or a turn will look gentle instead of steep, or a wide path will suddenly narrow. The shape of objects and terrain can be distorted in the dark, especially when you are racing at high speed.
Trouble also occurs in adverse weather conditions. It is clear that you should be especially careful in a rainstorm, strong wind or snowfall. But there are hidden dangers. “Black ice,” for example, you do not see, but it is very treacherous, and on a frosty morning, the protected areas where the sun does not reach can remain very slippery much longer than the rest of the roadway.
And there are times when during hot summer days or weeks a layer of inconspicuous compressed dirt from dust, rubber particles, bitumen, oil, etc. forms on the asphalt, and when it rains it becomes slippery until the water washes it away.
10. Lack of timely maintenance
For a car to function properly, you need to be aware of its repair and maintenance requirements. Keeping track of every little detail isn’t easy for beginners, but it’s an important step toward ensuring an enjoyable driving experience and safety on the road. Don’t wait for the car to break down or for any system to experience a significant failure. If there are suspicions, talk to a trustworthy auto mechanic about them.
However, novice drivers should not only drive well and be attentive behind the wheel, but also be able to clean bird droppings from the vehicle’s body .