As a new driver, it is natural to make a few mistakes along the way. However, some errors can cause more danger than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
Learning about the common mistakes that other new drivers make can help prevent future roadway mistakes and fatalities.
1. Not paying attention
It is vital for all drivers to constantly scan their surroundings and stay aware of other vehicles, pedestrians and potential hazards. This includes checking mirrors frequently and looking over their shoulder before changing lanes or making turns.
2. Not following traffic laws
New drivers must obey all traffic laws, including speed limits, stop signs and traffic signals. Failing to do so can not only lead to accidents but can also result in tickets and fines.
3. Not using turn signals
Using turn signals allows other motorists to know others’ intentions on the road. Failing to use them can lead to accidents. New drivers must remember always to use their turn signals when changing lanes, turning or exiting a roadway.
4. Not maintaining proper following distance
Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial for giving yourself enough time to react to any potential hazards on the road. New drivers should aim to keep at least a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front of them.
5. Not properly maintaining their vehicle
New drivers should regularly check their vehicle’s oil, brakes, tires and other important components to ensure their car is in good working order. Neglecting essential vehicle maintenance can lead to accidents and costly repairs.
Overall, new drivers should know of these common mistakes and take steps to avoid them.