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5 Road Safety Hacks for Newbie Drivers

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Driving is a basic skill that’s become almost a necessity in this modern age. Nowadays, you can get anywhere, even all the way across the country, just by driving. For any first-time driver, learning to drive can be an intimidating and maybe even scary process. But like with all things, a little practice goes a long way.

Learning to drive is more than just learning which pedal to hit to break or what the stick shift does. It’s also about knowing all the essential traffic rules, like what each sign means or the unspoken rules of a road that not all beginner drivers might know. So here are X safety tips to make sure that you drive your best and also your safest.

Learn about street signs 

This is probably the first lesson you ever learn about road safety, even before you can start driving. While it’s definitely not anything new or half as exciting as getting behind the wheel, it’s still one of the most essential safety lessons. You need to be aware of what all signs on a road mean.

Knowing the difference between a left turn or a U-turn could save you and your car from potential disaster. Signs are also there to prevent yourself from getting lost so make use of them before relying completely on your GPS.

Take time to familiarize yourself with all road signs before you get behind the wheel and don’t take that knowledge for granted. Make a habit of checking every roadside for signs and if you’re unsure what it is, stop and look it up or ask someone else.

Take note of speed limits

Other than signs, taking note of the speed limit on a certain stretch of road is also essential. For a beginner driver, you might not want to test the speed limit just yet, but it’s helpful to be aware of it so you don’t end up overshooting by accident or going above it. To be safe, try not to go even just a little bit above a speed limit. Staying well under it is a good idea for any driver, even seasoned ones.

Start out slow 

On that note, it’s best for beginning drivers to start out slow and gradually start to speed up. Going too fast too early could lead to accidents, especially if you’re still not used to controlling or steering your car. If you’re unsure of anything, it’s best to go at it a slower pace and well under the speed limit. If you’re worried about holding up cars behind you, most beginner drivers will usually have a sticker or sign on the rear windshield letting any cars behind them know that they’re a beginner. You should also stay on the slow lane, or you risk getting into a collision with faster cars with more experienced drivers or generally biting off more than you can chew.

It might be tempting to go fast as soon as you’ve gotten used to the controls, but keep in mind that you’re still learning, even if you’ve made some significant strides. You still don’t have the same experience or level of control as someone who’s been driving a car for years. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Eventually, you will get there. But for now, going slowly is best.

Learn about light turning and warning signals

The next best thing that you should be aware of on the road, after signs and speed limits, are light signals. You might notice if you’ve ridden in cars before, that when a car ahead of you wants to turn, they turn on a blinking red light on their rear that lets your driver know that they’re slowing down and which way they’re turning. It’s important to know what these light signals mean and where they are on your dashboard, so you yourself can warn drivers behind you when you want to slow down or make a turn.

Especially if you’re behind vehicles larger than you, such as tow trucks or buses, taking note of the amber LED light bar on their rear could just save your life. Always make sure to use your turn signal and keep your eyes on the road to take note of others.

Keep your distance from other cars

Don’t drive too close to the car ahead of you. Maintain a good distance between you and other cars so as to give them and yourself time to stop and back up if you need to. A good guide to gauging how much space there should be between you and a car ahead of you is the 3-second rule. According to this rule, you should follow at least 3 seconds behind the car in front of you to maintain a good following distance.

To do this, pick a fixed object, such as a road sign or any landmark, that the vehicle in front of you just passed. Ideally, you want to pass that same object three seconds after or more. If you pass it in less than 3 seconds, you might be following too close to them.

This is to ensure that you don’t accidentally tailgate them and gives you more time to react to any possible collisions or accidents and hit the brakes without hitting anyone with your car. Beginning drivers often have a delayed reaction to traffic collisions, slower than seasoned drivers, which could cause even greater damage if you don’t hit the brakes in time. The faster you go, the longer it will take for your car to actually stop when you hit the brakes, so start out slow, maintain a safe distance, and you’ll be fine.

As a beginner driver, your top priority should always be your safety and the safety of your passengers. Don’t compromise when it comes to road safety and be aware of any potential dangers and accident-prone areas. Remember that you’re still learning and therefore are not expected to be on the same level as expert drivers, so there’s no need for you to come out of the gate fast.

Taking your time is important when you’re learning to drive and eventually, you’ll start to get the hang of it. See also: semi truck insurance rates.
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