You made it! You have reached one of the best moments of your life. Learning to drive. You are about to experience a tremendous amount of new found freedom all because of a little piece of plastic with your face on it that says “Driver’s License.”
Unfortunately, not all drivers get off to a smooth start. Here are a few of the most common mistakes when learning to drive and how you can avoid them.
Being Too Nervous
It’s natural to be a little nervous when driving, especially when you’re just learning. You have ever right to be nervous, too! While our cars and roadways get safer every year, driving is a very dangerous activity. Even if you’re the best driver in the world, you have to deal with drivers around you who may not take safety as seriously.
However, by being a nervous driver, you are being a dangerous driver. You must be confident in your driving and be aware of everything that is going on around you. While other drivers do pose a risk, you can decrease the majority of all risks to driving by simply being a relaxed, confident, and happy driver.
When you are tense, you grip the wheel tighter. Your movements are jerky. You second guess yourself. And bad things just seem to happen. When you are confident, you are more loose, you make decisions with clarity, and safety just seems to happen. So take a deep breath, relax, and have fun. Driving is awesome!
Look Down The Road Farther
One of the biggest mistakes new drivers make when learning to drive is not looking far enough ahead. This is perfectly natural. The human body was designed to go about 15mph and no faster. Going 55mph in a car just isn’t natural to the human mind, even though we’ve been driving for over 100 years.
We naturally fixate on the pavement or the vehicle directly in front of us. This is poor practice and you need to break this habit right away. Look as far down the road as possible. Keep your eyes moving. Scan from left to right then back from right to left, all while shifting to your mirrors and looking near and far.
This is why they call it “getting the big picture.” Driving is not a passive activity and you don’t react to emergencies, you prevent them by knowing what is going on near and far, in front of you and behind you.
Leave Your Ego At Home
Doing what mom and dad tell you to do isn’t fun. But when it comes to driving, you need to listen and not argue. If you have a disagreement, find a safe place to pull over (like a parking lot) and talk things out with them.
Don’t argue and just relax. Teaching people to drive is a frightening experience! Your mom, dad, or driving instructor might make a mistake here and there or might overreact. Don’t get angry. Just realize they are a bit nervous.
Hopefully this helps you in your journey to become a licensed driver. If you still confused you can get help from online traffic school. And once again, congratulations! Driving is fun! Just make sure safety always comes first and please remember to share the road nicely with your fellow drivers!