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How to become a safer driver

If you’re more confident and less nervous you will become a better driver. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous when you’re learning. Driving can be dangerous but most people drive because it gives them more independence and it means they don’t have to sit on the bus!

Here are some ways you can become a better driver.

Get used to your car before setting off
Every car model is slightly different and the controls are often in different places. Get used to where all the controls are before you set off. The last thing you want to be doing while driving is trying to adjust your seat or working out how to turn the heater off. Your focus should only be on driving safely and looking out for hazards, not what is going on inside the car.

Don’t be overconfident
As you pile on the miles you’ll start to get more and more confident about driving. This is a good thing because it means you’re enjoying driving and will be less hesitant. At the same time this could lead to being overconfident of your ability to control the car, causing you to take more risks. Read the road and the weather conditions and adapt your driving, don’t have an accident because you were being overconfident or were trying to impress your friends.

Stay away from alcohol when you know you will be driving
Technically you can drink a small amount of alcohol and still be legally ok to drive. However it’s just not worth the risk. If you didn’t eat or you don’t hold your drink well then even just one pint can have an affect on your driving. Young drivers are more likely to have a crash caused by drink driving. Don’t drink and drive, you could lose your licence or worse kill someone else or yourself.

Look far ahead and be ready to react
The normal instinct is to only look at what’s happening just in front of you. This is often why rear end accidents happen. Drivers don’t look far enough ahead to see that the traffic is slowing down or stopping. By the time they reach the hazard it’s too late and they’re travelling too fast to be able to stop in time. TopTests.co.uk can help you with hazard perception and reaction times while driving.

When you’re driving anything can happen. A cyclist could fall into the road, or a tree could be taken down by the wind. You need to be ready for anything and you should be aware of your surroundings, taking special care of what’s going on further down the road.

Don’t fiddle with the radio or your phone
Taking your attention off the road can be very dangerous. While you’re driving try not to play around with the radio and put your phone away. If you’re not focusing fully on what’s happening on the road then you might miss something important. The car in front could suddenly stop while you’re looking for the next good song to play or someone could step out into the road in front of you.

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