Driving School

10 Essential Tips for Beginners

PROVIDED BY RAC

Are you a new driver? When you're out on the road, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. However you don't need to. Here are some simple and easy to remember tips to help you keep calm, do the right thing by other drivers and get you safely where you want to go.

1. Plan your drive. 

If you know where you're going, you're less likely to get flustered along the way. So check your route before you head off, particularly if you are driving somewhere you have not been before, and mind the road signals.

2. Avoid conflict. 

Others will make mistakes, but try to stay cool and calm. By getting upset, you can distract yourself from your own driving performance.

3. Avoid sudden movements. 

Don't suddenly swerve, accelerate or brake. Others might not know your intentions or see you with enough time to stop. 

4. Be patient.

Be patient when interacting with other drivers, changing lanes, and merging. Avoid cutting in on other drivers. When merging, do it like a zipper, one car after another. 


Being patient on the drive - even in a traffic jam - helps make your commute safer and more enjoyable

5. Keep a safe distance and don't tailgate

Remember, the faster you're going the more time you will need to stop. Don't tailgate. You should be able to see the road between your car and the one in front. If you can't, you're too close.

6. Don't be a lead foot. 

Keep a safe speed and don't go over the speed limit. Speeding is one of the biggest contributors to deaths on the road. Not speeding therefore reduces your chances of having a serious accident.

7. Indicate. 

Let other drivers know what you're doing. By not indicating and turning, you risk an accident. Likewise, indicate earlier rather than later to allow the vehicle behind you to be aware you are slowing down to turn.

8. Be courteous to other drivers.

If you make a mistake, wave to other drivers to say sorry. If other drivers are courteous to you, give them a wave to say thanks. It makes everyone happier.

9. Avoid all contact with drivers who show aggression.

Avoid eye contact and proceed as if nothing has happened. Keep clear of a vehicle being driven in an erratic or unsafe way. If you experience a road rage incident, stay calm. Get the details of the offending vehicle and report the incident at the nearest police station. If you feel that you're being followed, go to a public place such as a busy street or shopping centre.

10. Don't rush - take it easy!