Learning to drive can help one commute to different locations independently. For many, driving changes from a necessary skill to a passion. However, since drivers are single-handedly in charge of their vehicles, they must always be vigilant to avoid accidents. Unfortunately, the country witnesses approximately six million car accidents each year. Hence, in addition to understanding the technicalities of driving, new drivers should avoid certain common mistakes to ensure safety:
- Refusing to wear a seatbelt
Seatbelts are meant to ensure that drivers and passengers are safe inside their vehicles, even in the event of a car crash. Thus, drivers should request that all passengers, particularly those in the passenger seats, fasten their seatbelts to prevent the risk of injuries during car accidents or sudden jerks.
As per statistical reports, speeding accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. Individual state legislatures have established specific speed limits for different types of roads. Drivers should look for signs bearing speed limits and follow them to avoid speeding.
- Texting or speaking on the phone while driving
According to data from the American Automobile Association, texting is the cause of 12% of vehicle crashes in the country. Texting typically involves using both hands; moreover, it requires one to comprehend the messages and actively develop suitable responses. Hence, texting while driving can be highly distracting, increasing one’s risk of accidents and fatalities. Further, contrary to popular belief, it is not safe to speak on the phone, even using hands-free devices, while driving, as any phone conversation can distract one from paying attention to the road ahead. Studies have also demonstrated the negative effects of mobile phones’ low-level electromagnetic radiation on brain activity. Therefore, one should avoid speaking over the phone while driving, remembering to park one’s car on the side in case a call has to be made or received.
- Forgetting to use the indicator
Another common mistake among new drivers is to forget to use the indicator while changing lanes or turning, particularly when a junction has multiple diversions. An indication of one’s next move in such situations can help other drivers slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle, avoiding accidents and crashes.
Learning to drive can be rewarding if one follows certain safety measures and understands the meanings of different sign boards before hitting the road.